Everyman EVERYMAN. O Jesu, help! All hath forsaken me. GOOD DEEDS. Nay, Everyman; I will bide with thee. I will not forsake thee indeed; Thou shalt find me a good friend at need. EVERYMAN. Gramercy, Good Deeds! Now may I true friends see.  They have forsaken me, every one; I loved them better than my Good Deeds alone. Knowledge, will ye forsake me also? KNOWLEDGE. Yea, Everyman, when ye to Death shall go; But not yet, for no manner of danger.  EVERYMAN. Gramercy Knowledge, with all my heart. KNOWLEDGE.
Nay, yet I will not from hence depart Till I see where ye shall become. EVERYMAN. Methink, alas, that I must be gone To make my reckoning and my debts pay, For I see my time is nigh spent away. Take example, all ye that this do hear or see, How they that I loved best to forsake me, Except my Good Deeds that bideth truly. GOOD DEEDS. All earthly things is but vanity: Beauty, Strength, and Discretion do man forsake, Foolish friends, and kinsmen, that fair spake— All fleeth save Good Deeds, and that am I. (851 – 873)
In Everyman, lines 851 – 873, the reader gets a clearer idea of what the theme of the play is. It brings into focus what the play revolves around most, and puts the rest of the play together. In this section of the play right before Everyman climbs into his grave with Good Deeds, Everyman talks about how everyone he thought were friends to him abandoned him, and he recognizes Good Deeds for being the one person, despite his past of paying him no mind, to accompany him on his journey and to be with him until he reaches his grave, and the very end of his life.
Good Deeds tells of how and why he is the only one to accompany him to meet his maker. This section justifies the reason behind why Good Deeds is the one to accompany Everyman to the grave, as well as past events in the play. The main point of this section is to reveal to the reader why it is Good Deeds that stays with Everyman until the very end of his journey. Despite the fact that throughout his lifetime, Everyman didn’t pay attention to Good Deeds, Good Deeds makes it clear that he “will not forsake [Everyman] indeed” (853) and identifies himself as “a good friend at need” (854).
Good Deeds was with Everyman until the very end, displaying the meaning that in any one person’s life good deeds are what matters most when they die. It is one’s good deeds that will never leave when a person dies and that nothing else will accompany you to the grave and beyond. In lines 864 – 869, Everyman explains how it is his time to go, and to pay his debts, before his time is up. He makes the point, using himself as an example, that everyone that he loved most left him. Those he thought he could count on abandoned him.
He went to Fellowship, Kindred and Cousin, and Goods, the people he loved most in life, and they all refused to accompany him. Beauty, Strength, and Discretion also neglected to be there for his journey. Even in the end, as shown in this section in line 859, Knowledge also leaves Everyman to face his grave alone, with no one but Good Deeds, who stays with him until the very end and helps him to seek salvation. Good Deeds also makes a very good point in the last 4 lines of the section, lines 870 – 873, that supports what Everyman says in lines 864 – 869.
Good Deeds makes the very good point that “earthly things is nothing but vanity” (870), meaning that material possessions are vain and meaningless. Your life cannot be defined by what material things you possess. As said in lines 872 and 873, your beauty strength and discretion will not last forever, and also will not be there to accompany you to your grave. In reality, with time these things each fade as you get older, you will develop wrinkles, the skin loses its elasticity, and your looks will change. Strength also deteriorates, the older you get, the less energy and physical strength you have.
Even discretion fades, one might be put into a nursing home against their will when they get older, taken off the hands of their children. This is another example proving that family just might not always be there in the time leading up to your dying days, and definitely will not accompany you to the other side. Your friends and your family will also leave you in your last moments of life. They might be there throughout your life, but in the end, they will still leave you. It is you who must seek salvation. Family, friends, or riches will not help you reach that.
Knowledge also left him in the end, stating that he would stay with Everyman until he reached the grave, to make sure he did not encounter any further obstacles. This shows that one gains knowledge throughout life, it allows them to overcome life’s obstacles but like everything else, will not be with you when you take your last breath. What stays with you until the end and beyond the grave, are your good deeds. Good Deeds says so himself in line 873, “all fleeth save Good Deeds, and that am I. ” This means that everything and everyone leaves, except for your good deeds.
Good Deeds stayed with Everyman until the very end and went with him to the grave and accompanied him to what awaited beyond that. This section is important because it highlights the main point of this play. Your good deeds are the only thing that matter on the journey to salvation. Your beauty, strength, material goods, family and friends, are not what make you who you are. With time, all of those things fade away. They are meaningless. The good deeds you perform throughout your life are what define you above all else, and that is the one thing that will define you as a person, and help you reach salvation.
EVERYMAN. Oh Jesus, help! Everyone has abandoned me. GOOD DEEDS. No, Everyman; I will go with you. Indeed, I will not leave you; You will find me to be a good friend when you need one. EVERYMAN. Thank you, Good Deeds! I see now who my true friends are. All of my friends have left me, each one; I loved them more than just Good Deeds. Knowledge, are you also leaving me? KNOWLEDGE. Yes, Everyman, when you go to Death; But not yet, I’ll be here incase of any dangers. EVERYMAN. I thank you Knowledge, with all my heart. KNOWLEDGE.
I will not depart from you Until I see where you will go. EVERYMAN. I think that, finally, I must leave So that I can make my last judgments and pay my debts For I notice that my time is almost up. Learn from this, all who can see and hear How those I loved most abandoned me, Except for my Good Deeds, which are true to me. GOOD DEEDS. All material things are nothing but vain; Man will lose Beauty, Strength, and Discretion Silly friends and family, pretty as they are— All leave except for Good Deeds, and that’s who I am.