Honor and shame

From Prince Caspian by C. S. Lewis:

“You come of the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve,” said Aslan. “And that is both honour enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor in earth.”

4 thoughts on “Honor and shame

  1. And that, in a nutshell, is the problem with C. S. Lewis. It sounds deep, but it’s really just a contradiction. Surely any kind of sensible philosophy ought to try and avoid them. The movie wasn’t up to much either, though the kids enjoyed it greatly.

  2. It’s not a contradiction but a summary two Christian ideas. The dignity of mankind comes from being created in the image of God, and the shame of mankind comes from being in rebellion against God. The image of God was damaged by the fall but not destroyed.

    I haven’t seen the movie of Prince Caspian but I haven’t heard anything good about it. I have higher hopes for Voyage of the Dawn Treader made by a different team.

  3. I don’t think the quote is a contradiction. I think it’s just saying don’t be too proud because you are human (a sinner and a descendent of sinners), but don’t lose hope because you are one of God’s creations and He still loves you.

  4. I think the point of the passage, which begins with Caspian wishing that he “came of a more honorable lineage” was that there is only one lineage of mankind. How you interpret it is up to you, but I see the passage as a warning: you should not measure yourself by the honours accorded to your ancestors, unless you wish to assume their failings as well.

    I am old enough to have earned my own honour and shame. My honours are meager, but my shames are more than sufficient, so I would ask that you not grant me what has been earned by others.

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