Everyman

Good-Deeds Character Analysis

Good-Deeds is the personification of Everyman’s good deeds. She is weak when she is introduced, as Everyman’s sinful behavior has depleted her, but she becomes stronger and stronger as Everyman purges his sins. Good-Deeds accompanies Everyman on his pilgrimage and she is the only one of his friends who is able to stay with him when he meets God, though her sister, Knowledge, comes close. Because of this, Good-Deeds is shown to be the most essential of Everyman’s companions—metaphorically, this instructs the audience that doing good deeds is the only behavior that can get a person into heaven.

Good-Deeds Quotes in Everyman

The Everyman quotes below are all either spoken by Good-Deeds or refer to Good-Deeds . 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

Yea, sir, I may thank you of all;
If ye had perfectly cheered me,
Your book of account now full ready had be.
Look, the books of your works and deeds eke;
Oh, see how they lie under the feet,
To your soul’s heaviness.

Related Characters: Good-Deeds (speaker), Everyman
Related Symbols: Reckoning
Page Number: 49
Explanation and Analysis:
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Everyman: Take example, all ye that this do hear or see,
How they that I loved best do 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.

Related Characters: Everyman (speaker), Good-Deeds (speaker), Beauty, Strength, Discretion
Page Number: 58
Explanation and Analysis:
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Good-Deeds Character Timeline in Everyman

The timeline below shows where the character Good-Deeds appears in Everyman. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Everyman
Personification and Morality Theme Icon
Sin, Human Nature, and the Material World Theme Icon
...ashamed that he says, “Thus may I well myself hate.” Everyman decides to seek out Good-Deeds, though she is “so weak / That she can neither go nor speak.” (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
Everyman calls out for Good-Deeds, who “lie[s] cold in the ground,” weakened by Everyman’s sins. Everyman begins to ask her... (full context)
Personification and Morality Theme Icon
Salvation, Humility, and the Catholic Church Theme Icon
Good-Deeds’s sister Knowledge appears, offering herself as Everyman’s guide. Happy that something good has finally happened,... (full context)
Personification and Morality Theme Icon
Sin, Human Nature, and the Material World Theme Icon
Salvation, Humility, and the Catholic Church Theme Icon
Suddenly Good-Deeds appears and announces that she has been healed and is now able to accompany Everyman... (full context)
Personification and Morality Theme Icon
Salvation, Humility, and the Catholic Church Theme Icon
...that such contrition “pleaseth God passing well.” As Everyman now has “true contrition,” and as Good-Deeds has his reckoning in hand, Everyman is ready to continue his journey with his two... (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 pilgrimage, causing Everyman to thank God.... (full context)
Death Theme Icon
Sin, Human Nature, and the Material World Theme Icon
Everyman cries out to Jesus, saying that everyone has forsaken him, but Good-Deeds corrects him, promising to stay with him. Everyman thanks her and realizes that Beauty, Strength,... (full context)
Personification and Morality Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
Salvation, Humility, and the Catholic Church Theme Icon
As the souls of Everyman and Good-Deeds leave their bodies, Knowledge remains on earth. She remarks that Everyman “suffered that we all... (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
...abandon Everyman, and that when we are judged by God, we are alone, save for Good-Deeds. He warns us that we must make “amends” before death, in order to gain God’s... (full context)