Guilt Quotes

Guilt soon learns to lie.

Mary Elizabeth Braddon

Guilt is a rope that wears thin.

Ayn Rand,

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,

Guilt is the source of sorrow, 'tis the fiend,Th' avenging fiend, that follows us behindWith whips and stings.

Nicholas Rowe

Guilt once harbored in the conscious breast, intimidates the brave, degrades the great.

Samuel Johnson

Action and care will in time wear down the strongest frame, but guilt and melancholy are poisons of quick dispatch.

Thomas Paine

Guilt is anything you did and fear others to know about


He that is conscious of guilt cannot bear the innocence of others: So they will try to reduce all others to their own level.

Charles James Fox

The fearful face usually betrays great guilt.


Nothing is more wretched that the mind of a man conscious of guilt.


You cut up a thing that's alive and beautiful to find out how it's alive and why it's beautiful, and before you know it, it's neither of those things, and you're standing there with blood on your face and tears in your sight and only the terrible ache of guilt to show for it.

Clive Barker

For socialists, not just the wealth, but the guilt, must be redistributed

Andrew Sandlin

Although the most acute judges of the witches and even the witches themselves, were convinced of the guilt of witchery, the guilt nevertheless was non-existent. It is thus with all guilt.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Glory built on selfish principles is shame and guilt.

William Cowper

Every woman while she would be ready to die of shame if surprised in the act of generation, nonetheless carries her pregnancy without a trace of shame and indeed with a kind of pride. The reason is that pregnancy is in a certain sense a cancellation of the guilt incurred by coitus; thus coitus bears all the shame and disgrace of the affair, while pregnancy, which is so intimately associated with it, stays pure and innocent and is indeed to some extent sacred.

Arthur Schopenhauer
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