quotations about shame
The difference between guilt and shame is very clear--in theory. We feel guilty for what we do. We feel shame for what we are.
LEWIS B. SMEDES, Shame and Grace
Who would envy a man who could not feel shame? Who would associate with a man who glories in his shame? In either case he evinces a heart depraved, a mind demoralized.
JOSEPH BARTLETT, Aphorisms on Men, Manners, Principles and Things
Shame is closely related to guilt, but there is a key qualitative difference. No audience is needed for feelings of guilt, no one else need know, for the guilty person is his own judge. Not so for shame. The humiliation of shame requires disapproval or ridicule by others. If no one ever learns of a misdeed there will be no shame, but there still might be guilt. Of course, there may be both. The distinction between shame and guilt is very important, since these two emotions may tear a person in opposite directions. The wish to relieve guilt may motivate a confession, but the wish to avoid the humiliation of shame may prevent it.
PAUL EKMAN, Telling Lies
Shame is an unhappy emotion invented by pietists in order to exploit the human race.
BLAKE EDWARDS, Victor/Victoria
Shame isn't a quiet grey cloud, shame is a drowning man who claws his way on top of you, scratching and tearing your skin, pushing you under the surface.
KIRSTY EAGER, Raw Blue
Live in thy shame, but die not shame with thee!
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, Richard II
Soap won't wash away your shame.
DEPECHE MODE, "Shame"
O shame! Where is thy blush?
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, Hamlet
A shamefaced man makes a bad beggar.
HOMER, The Odyssey
We live in an atmosphere of shame. We are ashamed of everything that is real about us; ashamed of ourselves, of our relatives, of our incomes, of our accents, of our opinion, of our experience, just as we are ashamed of our naked skins.
GEORGE BERNARD SHAW, Man and Superman
Even when we do wrong, accountability is helpful, compassion is helpful, apology and forgiveness are helpful, but shame is not.
DEBRA CAMPBELL, "Peeling the Onion of Abuse and Shame", Huffington Post, September 14, 2017
Shame should be reserved for the things we choose to do, not the circumstances that life puts on us.
ANN PATCHETT, Truth and Beauty
Whate'ers begun in anger ends in shame.
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, Poor Richard's Almanack, 1734
Honor and shame from no condition rise;
Act well your part, there all the honor lies.
ALEXANDER POPE, An Essay on Man
Time shall unfold what plighted cunning hides:
Who cover faults, at last shame them derides.
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, King Lear
Shame is like everything else; live with it for long enough and it becomes part of the furniture.
SALMAN RUSHDIE, Shame
Only man can blush.
No other creature knows of shame.
Why have we wandered so far away
From simple honesty?
EDWIN LEIBFREED, "The Song of the Soul"
Shame wields its power when you tamp it down and ignore its existence. Expose it to the light, and it becomes a vampire at high noon.
HOWARD ENGLANDER, "It's a shame we have so much trouble talking about shame", Chicago Now, August 29, 2017
The tendrils of shame clutched at them, however they turned, all the dirty words they knew commented on all they did.
JAMES BALDWIN, Another Country
Whilst shame keeps its watch, virtue is not wholly extinguished in the heart; nor will moderation be utterly exiled from the minds of tyrants.
EDMUND BURKE, Reflections on the Revolution in France