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A cramped toe. Are you serious?!

Anonymous, ''Everyman'' -- Jerz: EL150 (Intro to Literary Study)
Cousin: "No by our Lady; I have the cramp in my toe.
Trust not to me, for, so God me speed,
I will deceive you in your most need."


Although I laughed at these few lines, I realized that this is the only way the author could say what he meant.

A cramp in his toe is causing man's family to abandon him? It seems a bit far-fetched for me. Then you begin to realize that everyone is abandoning man in his time of need. No one will live up to their end of the bargain. They all say that they will stick with him side by side until the end, but when the end comes into view, they flee. By the end of the poem, Man realized that the things you can trust in life is your knowledge and the good deed's you have done. All else will forsake you in the end. Very true.

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Comments

I felt the same way when I read those lines. I laughed at first, but then on second thought the words really hit home. If I had been in Everyman's situation, I would have gone straight to my family and expected them to join me without question. The fact that his family member bails on him for a gimpy toe is surprising. But I think that's what the author was going for. He creates such a mundane excuse to emphasize the fact that nothing, except your own actons will accompany you to your final judgement.

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