Everyman

Five-Wits Character Analysis

Five-Wits is the personification of the five wits, which is another way of saying the five senses of sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell. Five-Wits is a companion to Everyman, who regards Five-Wits as his best friend until Five-Wits abandons him. This shows that, though the senses are enticing and helpful on earth, they have no place in heaven and cannot lead to salvation.

Five-Wits Quotes in Everyman

The Everyman quotes below are all either spoken by Five-Wits or refer to Five-Wits. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Personification and Morality Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Dover Publications edition of Everyman published in 1995.
Everyman Quotes

God will you to salvation bring,
For priesthood exceedeth all other thing;
To us Holy Scripture they do teach,
And converteth man from sin heaven to reach;
God hath to them more power given,
Than to any angel that is in heaven

Related Characters: Five-Wits (speaker), Everyman, God
Page Number: 55
Explanation and Analysis:
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But when Jesus hanged on the cross with great smart
There he gave, out of his blessed heart,
The same sacrament in great torment:
He sold them not to us, that Lord Omnipotent.
Therefore Saint Peter the apostle doth say
That Jesu’s curse hath all they
Which God their Savior do buy or sell,
Or they for any money do take or tell.

Related Characters: Knowledge (speaker), God , Five-Wits
Page Number: 55
Explanation and Analysis:
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Five-Wits Character Timeline in Everyman

The timeline below shows where the character Five-Wits appears in Everyman. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Everyman
Personification and Morality Theme Icon
Salvation, Humility, and the Catholic Church Theme Icon
...Discretion, Strength, and Beauty. Knowledge adds that he must also seek the advice of his Five-wits. (full context)
Sin, Human Nature, and the Material World Theme Icon
Beauty appears with Discretion, Strength, and Five-wits, ready to assist Everyman. At Good-Deeds’ request, they all agree to join Everyman on his... (full context)
Salvation, Humility, and the Catholic Church Theme Icon
At this point, Five-wits makes a speech about priests, telling Everyman that priests have greater authority than any political... (full context)
Personification and Morality Theme Icon
Sin, Human Nature, and the Material World Theme Icon
Knowledge continues the discussion on priesthood but qualifies Five-wits’ statements, saying that this is true only if the priests are good. He points out... (full context)
Personification and Morality Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
Sin, Human Nature, and the Material World Theme Icon
Salvation, Humility, and the Catholic Church Theme Icon
...to death and he says that “all thing faileth, save God alone.” At this point, Five-wits says farewell, leaving Everyman in tears, as Five-wits was his best friend. (full context)
Death Theme Icon
Sin, Human Nature, and the Material World Theme Icon
...promising to stay with him. Everyman thanks her and realizes that Beauty, Strength, Discretion, and Five-wits were not true friends to him, as Good-Deeds is. He asks Knowledge if she too... (full context)
Personification and Morality Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
Sin, Human Nature, and the Material World Theme Icon
Salvation, Humility, and the Catholic Church Theme Icon
...directly with an epilogue. He instructs us to “forsake pride” and reminds us that Beauty, Five-wits, Strength, and Discretion all abandon Everyman, and that when we are judged by God, we... (full context)