In literature and drama, the term everyman has come to mean an ordinary individual[1][2] with whom the audience or reader is supposed to be able to identify easily and who is often placed in extraordinary circumstances.


The name derives from a 15th-century English morality play called Everyman.[2]

The contemporary everyman differs from his (or her) medieval counterpart in many respects. While the medieval everyman was devoid of definite marks of individuality in order to create a universality in the moral message of the play, the contemporary storyteller may use an everyman for amoral, immoral, or demonstrative purposes.


The everyman character is constructed so that the audience can imagine themselves in the same situation without having to possess knowledge, skills, or abilities that transcend human potential. Such characters react realistically in situations that are often taken for granted with traditional heroes.

Alternatively, an everyman occupies the role of protagonist without being a "hero" and without necessarily being a round character or a dynamic character. In this scenario, the everyman is developed like a secondary character, but the character's near omnipresence within the narrative shifts the focus from character development to events and story lines surrounding the character. Some audiences or readers may project themselves into this character, if no dominant characteristic of the everyman prevents them from doing so. Others may ignore the character and concentrate on the story arc, the visual imagery, the irony or satire, and any other aspect of the story which the orchestrator(s) of the story have focused upon or, indeed, whatever personally interests the reader.

An everyman character may occasionally be used as a narrator for the action, or to gloss over or fill in temporal gaps in the flow of a story. This allows for the presence of narrators without drawing attention to their role, by having a character commentating on events from within the dramatic action rather than separate from it. When employed in this way, the everyman character may by necessity have to break the convention of the fourth wall, speaking directly to the audience. Examples of this role would include the character of Ché in the musical Evita.[3][4]


In fiction

A prominent example of an everyman character is Christian, the protagonist of John Bunyan's Christian allegory The Pilgrim's Progress (1678).[5] Other figures often characterized as everymen include:

In non-fiction

An example of the term's use in non-fiction is the description in Salon of Dustin Hoffman's reaction to the Weather Underground's townhouse explosion: "[...] the news footage of the Greenwich Village townhouse destroyed in 1970 by bomb-making gone wrong in the basement still has enormous impact. Standing in the chaotic street, actor Dustin Hoffman, who lived next door, seems like Everyman at the apocalypse."[20]

See also


  1. ^ "WordNet Search - 3.0". Princeton University. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  2. ^ a b "Everyman - Definition and More From the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary". Merriam-Webster. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  3. ^ Miller, S., Inside Evita – background and analysis"
  4. ^ Gans, A. "In upcoming revival of Evita, Che will be the "everyman", not Che Guevara," Playbill, February 10, 2012. Retrieved January 18, 2014.
  5. ^ Prickett, Stephen (2008). "Scriptural Interpretation in the English Literary Tradition". In Magne Saebo. Hebrew Bible/Old Testament: The History of Its Interpretation. II (from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment). Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. p. 934.
  6. ^ Smith, Gavin (September–October 1999). "Inside Out: Gavin Smith Goes One-on-One with David Fincher". Film Comment. 35 (5): 64.
  7. ^ Gharraie, Jonathan (June 27, 2011). "Around Bloom in a Day". Paris Review. Retrieved April 7, 2013. Leopold Bloom, the Jewish everyman
  8. ^ Jones, Brian; Hamilton, Geoff (2009). Encyclopedia of American Popular Fiction. New York: Infobase Publishing. p. 153.
  9. ^ "The Office: Co-Workers You'd Love to Have - Jim Halpert (John Krasinski), 'The Office' Occupation: Sales representative". TV.MSN.com. Retrieved October 24, 2012.
  10. ^ "George O'Hanlon; Father's voice on Jetsons". Los Angeles Times. February 14, 1989.
  11. ^ "Character Guide: Stan Marsh". SouthParkStudios.com. Archived from the original on October 5, 2010. Retrieved February 9, 2013.
  12. ^ "About AMC: Who's Who in Pine Valley - Joseph Martin - All My Children @ soapcentral.com". Soapcentral.
  13. ^ Ball, Chris (September 26, 2009). "New on DVD: 'Shrink,' 'Management,' 'The Patty Duke Show' and more".
  14. ^ Adkins, Leslie (May 13, 2009). "AS SEEN ON: My new addiction: 'How I Met Your Mother'".
  15. ^ Rodden, John (2007). The Cambridge Companion to George Orwell. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 9.
  16. ^ "W.C. Fields Biography". The Biography Channel. UK. Amongst his greatest films were those of the thirties - 'It's a Gift' in 1934, 'You Can't Cheat an Honest Man' in 1939, and, especially, 'The Bank Dick' in 1940. His characteristic portrayal of the beleaguered 'everyman' figure made him a national institution.
  17. ^ James L. Neibaur (February 28, 2007). "Film Reviews: The W.C. Fields Comedy Collection Vol. 2 (2007)". Rogue Cinema. It was talking pictures that helped to fully realize Fields' character. He was at once an angry wiseacre, and at other times a put-upon henpecked husband whose Everyman was at the mercy of any and all authority. His winning in the end provides a vicarious thrill for the viewer, as does his dry mockery of his stereotypical surroundings.
  18. ^ Byrnes, Paul (November 16, 2016). "Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them review: Fun but long-winded". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2017-04-27.
  19. ^ T.C. Mits
  20. ^ Paglia, Camille (November 12, 2008). "Obama surfs through". Salon.
Biphasic and polyphasic sleep

Biphasic sleep (or diphasic, bimodal or bifurcated sleep) is the practice of sleeping during two periods over 24 hours, while polyphasic sleep refers to sleeping multiple times – usually more than two. Each of these is in contrast to monophasic sleep, which is one period of sleep over 24 hours. Segmented sleep and divided sleep may refer to polyphasic or biphasic sleep, but may also refer to interrupted sleep, where the sleep has one or several shorter periods of wakefulness. A common form of biphasic or polyphasic sleep includes a nap, which is a short period of sleep, typically taken between the hours of 9 am and 9 pm as an adjunct to the usual nocturnal sleep period.

The term polyphasic sleep was first used in the early 20th century by psychologist J. S. Szymanski, who observed daily fluctuations in activity patterns (see Stampi 1992). It does not imply any particular sleep schedule. The circadian rhythm disorder known as irregular sleep-wake syndrome is an example of polyphasic sleep in humans. Polyphasic sleep is common in many animals, and is believed to be the ancestral sleep state for mammals, although simians are monophasic.The term polyphasic sleep is also used by an online community that experiments with alternative sleeping schedules to achieve more time awake each day. However, researchers such as Piotr Woźniak warn that such forms of sleep deprivation are not healthy. While many claim that polyphasic sleep was widely used by some polymaths and prominent people such as Leonardo da Vinci, Napoleon, and Nikola Tesla, there are few reliable sources supporting that view.


Elckerlijc (also known as Elckerlyc) is a morality play from the Low Countries which was written in Dutch somewhere around the year 1470. It was first printed in 1495. The play was extremely successful and may have been the original source for the English play Everyman, as well as many other translations for other countries. The authorship of Elckerlijc is attributed to Peter van Diest, a medieval writer from the Low Countries.

The play won the first prize in a theater contest in Brabant; it is uncertain whether it won at the Antwerp Landjuweel in 1496. As a morality play, it stresses the didactic message. It uses allegory of the hero as an "everyman" (a typical human person) and is written in moderately elevated Rederijker style.

Dutch and English historians argued for decades over whether the English play Everyman was based on Elckerlijc (or vice versa). The most convincing evidence that Elckerlijc was the original was provided by the English historian E.R. Tigg, who showed how many rhymes and literal translations were copied from the Dutch language play into the English Everyman. On the other hand, an English translator should have added a rhyming tag to each of a pair of words that rhyme in Dutch but not in English. The prevalent view is that the Dutch language version was the original.

Every Man Has a Woman Who Loves Him

"Every Man Has a Woman Who Loves Him" is a song by Yoko Ono from her Double Fantasy album with John Lennon. The version released as a single, and on the compilation album Every Man Has a Woman, is credited to Lennon, and has stripped away Ono's lead vocal, while bringing Lennon's backing vocal up in the mix (this version was also released as a bonus track on the CD reissue of Milk and Honey). The B-side featured "It's Alright" by Ono and Sean Lennon. The last Lennon song to be released as a single, it failed to chart in either the United Kingdom or the United States.

In 2007, the song was re-released as a UK-only 12" single on the Mynx record label where it was coupled with Elvis Costello's cover version of Yoko Ono's song "Walking on Thin Ice".

Every Man in His Humour

Every Man in His Humour is a 1598 play by the English playwright Ben Jonson. The play belongs to the subgenre of the "humours comedy," in which each major character is dominated by an over-riding humour or obsession.

Everyman's Library

Everyman's Library is a series of reprint of classic literature, primarily from the Western canon. It is currently published in hardback by Random House. It was originally an imprint of J. M. Dent (latterly a division of Weidenfeld & Nicolson and presently an imprint of Orion Books), who continue to publish Everyman Paperbacks.

Everyman (DC Comics)

Everyman (Hannibal Bates) is a fictional supervillain published by DC Comics. He debuted in 52 #17 (August 30, 2006), and was created by Grant Morrison, Geoff Johns, Greg Rucka, Mark Waid, Keith Giffen and Joe Bennett. His name is a combination of Hannibal Lecter and Norman Bates.

Everyman made his live appearance on the first season of The Flash played by Martin Novotny.

Everyman (Marvel Comics)

Everyman (Larry Ekler) is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics.

Everyman (novel)

Everyman is a novel by Philip Roth, published by Houghton Mifflin in May 2006. It won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction in 2007. It is Roth's third novel to receive the prize.

Everyman (play)

The Somonyng of Everyman (The Summoning of Everyman), usually referred to simply as Everyman, is a late 15th-century morality play. Like John Bunyan's 1678 Christian novel The Pilgrim's Progress, Everyman uses allegorical characters to examine the question of Christian salvation and what Man must do to attain it.

Everyman Chess

Everyman Chess, formerly known as Cadogan Chess, is a major publisher of books and CDs about chess. "Everyman" is a registered trademark of Random House and the company headquarters is in London. Former World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov is their chief advisor and John Emms is the general editor, assisted by Richard Palliser. The company is now known as "Gloucester Publishers".

In addition to individual books, the company publishes some series of books. Some of their most famous series of books are:

"Winning Chess" series by Grandmaster Yasser Seirawan

"Starting Out" series by various writers, including John Emms, Chris Ward, Glenn Flear, Joe Gallagher, Richard Palliser, and John Shaw

"Move by Move" series by various writers, including John Emms, Steve Giddins, Adam Hunt, Colin Crouch, and Cyrus Lakdawala

"My Great Predecessors" series of five volumes by Garry Kasparov

"Modern Chess" series by Garry Kasparov

"Dangerous Weapons" series of books on openingsThe "Starting Out"-series are introductory level books for average players, who have advanced beyond beginner level. These books generally contain a general strategic overview, along with notes on whether the lines are theoretical or not. John Watson has pointed out that the series' main weakness is a lack of in-depth theoretical coverage. Features of the Starting Out series are bolded and graphically labeled notices with tips, warnings and notes. The wide target readership has made the Starting Out series popular. One reviewer expressed concern that many titles are pushed into the Starting Out series as a way of increasing sales, when they would be better suited as a more theoretical work.

Everyman Palace Theatre

The Everyman Theatre is a 650-seat Victorian theatre on MacCurtain Street in Cork, Ireland. Originally opened in 1897, it is the oldest purpose-built theatre building in Cork. The Everyman has undergone many changes, through its days as "Dan Lowrey’s Palace of Varieties" (hosting Laurel and Hardy and Charlie Chaplin), life as a cinema, periods of disrepair, and redevelopment as a modern theatre in the 1990s.The theatre is housed in a listed (protected) Victorian building with a large stage and auditorium, with proscenium arch, four elaborately decorated boxes, a studio space and a bar.

The Everyman's programme is a mix of plays, operas, musicals and concerts, but it specialises in drama and usually stages three in-house productions per year. In the summer months, it hosts productions by Irish playwrights. Other recurring events include the Guinness Jazz Festival in October (for which the theatre is a primary venue), and the Christmas pantomime. A unique feature of the Everyman Palace is that its front of house ushering staff is composed entirely of volunteers.Up until 2007, the Everyman hosted the Irish regional festival of the National Theatre's New Connections program every May.

Everyman Theatre, Liverpool

The Everyman Theatre stands at the north end of Hope Street, Liverpool, Merseyside, England. It was founded in 1964, in Hope Hall (once a chapel, then a cinema), in an area of Liverpool noted for its bohemian environment and political edge, and quickly built a reputation for ground-breaking work. The Everyman was completely rebuilt between 2011 and 2014.

For Everyman

For Everyman is the second album by American singer-songwriter Jackson Browne, released in 1973 (see 1973 in music). The album peaked at number 43 on the Billboard 200 chart and the single "Redneck Friend" reached number 85 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. In 2003, the album was ranked number 457 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Homer the Whopper

"Homer the Whopper" is the season premiere of The Simpsons' twenty-first season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on September 27, 2009. In the episode, Comic Book Guy creates a new superhero called Everyman who takes powers from other superheroes. Homer is cast as the lead in the film adaptation. To get Homer into shape, the movie studio hires a celebrity fitness trainer, Lyle McCarthy, to help him. Homer gets into great shape and is really excited, but when McCarthy leaves to train another client, he starts over-eating again and ultimately this leads to the film's failure.

The episode was written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, who are "obsessed" fans of the show, and directed by Lance Kramer. "Homer The Whopper" was intended to be a commentary on how Hollywood treats superhero films. Rogen also guest stars in the episode as the character Lyle McCarthy, making him the second guest star to both write an episode and appear in it; Ricky Gervais was the first. "Homer the Whopper" has received mixed reviews from television critics and acquired a Nielsen rating of 4.3 in its original broadcast.

Infinity, Inc.

Infinity, Inc. is a team of superheroes appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The team is mostly composed of the children and heirs of the Justice Society of America, making them the Society's analogue to the Teen Titans, which was originally composed of sidekicks of Justice League members. Created by Roy Thomas, Jerry Ordway, and Mike Machlan, they first appeared in All-Star Squadron #25 (September 1983). There was also an eponymous comics series starring the group, which ran from March 1984 through June 1988.

Institute of Cancer Research

The Institute of Cancer Research (the ICR) is a public research institute and a constituent college of the University of London in London, United Kingdom, specialising in oncology. It was founded in 1909 as a research department of the Royal Marsden Hospital and joined the University of London in 2003. It has been responsible for a number of breakthrough discoveries, including that the basic cause of cancer is damage to DNA.The ICR occupies sites in Chelsea, Central London and Sutton, southwest London. The ICR provides both taught postgraduate degree programmes and research degrees and currently has around 340 students. Together with the Royal Marsden Hospital the ICR forms the largest comprehensive cancer centre in Europe, and was ranked first amongst all British higher education institutions in the Times Higher Education 2014 Research Excellence Framework Table of Excellence. In clinical medicine, 83% and in biological sciences, 96% of the ICR’s academic research was assessed to be world leading or internationally excellent (4* or 3*).The annual income of the institution for 2015–16 was £162.1 million of which £61.7 million was from research grants and contracts, with an expenditure of £110.2 million. The ICR receives its external grant funding from the government body the Higher Education Funding Council for England, from government research council bodies and from charities including the Wellcome Trust, Cancer Research UK, Breast Cancer Now and Bloodwise. It also receives voluntary income from legacies and from public and corporate donations. The ICR also runs a number of fundraising appeals and campaigns which help support a variety of cancer research projects.

John Emms (chess player)

John Michael Emms (born 14 March 1967) is a chess player who has earned the rank of International Grandmaster. This English player was the 2002 captain of the English Olympiad team. He tied for first in the 1997 British Championship. In October 2004, he also coached a woman's team in the 36th Chess Olympiad in Calvià, Majorca. He is also a prolific chess author.

Liverpool Playhouse

The Liverpool Playhouse is a theatre in Williamson Square in the city of Liverpool, England. It originated in 1866 as a music hall, and in 1911 developed into a repertory theatre. As such it nurtured the early careers of many actors and actresses, some of whom went on to achieve national and international reputations. Architectural changes have been made to the building over the years, the latest being in 1968 when a modern-style extension was added to the north of the theatre. In 1999 a trust was formed, joining the management of the Playhouse with that of the Everyman Theatre.

Morality play

The morality play is a genre of Medieval and early Tudor theatrical entertainment. In their own time, these plays were known as interludes, a broader term for dramas with or without a moral. Morality plays are a type of allegory in which the protagonist is met by personifications of various moral attributes who try to prompt him to choose a godly life over one of evil. The plays were most popular in Europe during the 15th and 16th centuries. Having grown out of the religiously based mystery plays of the Middle Ages, they represented a shift towards a more secular base for European theatre. Hildegard von Bingen's Ordo Virtutum (English: "Order of the Virtues") composed c. 1151, is the earliest known morality play by more than a century, and the only Medieval musical drama to survive with an attribution for both the text and the music.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.