Shame is regarded variously as an affect, emotion, cognition, state, or condition of embarrassment, dishonor, disgrace, inadequacy, humiliation, or chagrin. The roots of the word shame are thought to derive from an older word meaning to cover; as such, covering oneself, literally or figuratively, is a natural expression of shame. "To shame" generally means to actively assign or communicate a state of shame to another. Behaviors designed to "uncover" or "expose" others are sometimes used for this purpose, as are utterances like "Shame!" or "Shame on you!" Finally, to "have shame" means to maintain a sense of restraint against offending others (as with modesty, humility, and deference) while to "have no shame" is to behave without such restraint (as with excessive pride or hubris).
- A nightingale dies for shame if another bird sings better.
- Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621), Part I, Section II. Memb. 3. Subsec. 6.
- Love taught him shame, and shame, with love at strife,
Soon taught the sweet civilities of life.
- John Dryden, Cymon and Iphigenia (1700), line 133.
- The only art her guilt to cover,
To hide her shame from every eye,
To give repentance to her lover,
And wring his bosom, is—to die.
- Oliver Goldsmith, The Vicar of Wakefield (1766), Chapter XXIV.
- A shamefaced man makes a bad beggar.
- Homer, The Odyssey (8th century BC), chapter XVII, line 78.
- Pudet hæc opprobria nobis
Et dici potuisse et non potuisse repelli.
- I am not ashamed that these reproaches can be cast upon us, and that they can not be repelled.
- Ovid, Metamorphoses (AD 8), Book I. 758.
- Here shame dissuades him, there his fear prevails,
And each by turns his aching heat assails.
- Ovid, Metamorphoses (AD 8), Book III. Transformation of Actæon, line 73. Addison's translation.
- All is confounded, all!
Reproach and everlasting shame
Sits mocking in our plumes.
- He was not born to shame:
Upon his brow shame was asham'd to sit;
For 'tis a throne where honour may be crown'd
Sole monarch of the universal earth.
- 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.
- Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman (1903), Act I.
- For the first time, I am ashamed to be a German.
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 702.
- Shame is an ornament to the young; a disgrace to the old.
- Maggior difetto men vergogna lava.
- Less shame a greater fault would palliate.
- Dante Alighieri, Inferno, XXX. 142.
- If yet not lost to all the sense of shame.
- Homer, The Iliad, Book VI, line 350. Pope's translation.
- Næ simul pudere quod non oportet cœperit; quod oportet non pudebit.
- As soon as she (woman) begins to be ashamed of what she ought not, she will not be ashamed of what she ought.
- Livy, Annales, XXXIV. 4.
- Pessimus quidem pudor vel est parsimoniæ vel frugalitatis.
- The worst kind of shame is being ashamed of frugality or poverty.
- Livy, Annales, XXXIV. 4.
- Nam ego illum periisse duco, cui quidem periit pudor.
- I count him lost, who is lost to shame.
- Plautus, Bacchides, III. 3. 80.
- The most curious offspring of shame is shyness.
- Sydney Smith, Lecture on the Evil Affections.