Quotations about   dishonor

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I’d rather die on my feet, than live on my knees.

[Prefiero morir de pie que vivir de rodillas.]

Emiliano Zapata 1879-1919) Mexican revolutionary, reformer [Emiliano Zapata Salazar]
(Attributed)

Often misattributed to Che Guevara, José Martí, and other revolutionaries. Popularized by "La Pasionaria" Dolores Ibárruri, during her speeches and broadcasts in the Spanish Civil War. More discussion here.

Alternate versions/translations:
  • "I'd prefer to die standing, than to live always on my knees! [¡Prefiero morir de pie que vivir siempre arrodillado!]"
  • "Men of the South! It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees!"
  • "I would rather die standing than live on my knees!"
  • "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees!"
  • "I prefer to die standing than to live forever kneeling."
  • "Prefer death on your feet to living on your knees."
Added on 29-Jun-20 | Last updated 29-Jun-20
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I’ll clue you in on a secret: death is not the worst thing that could happen to you. I know we think that; we are the first society ever to think that. It’s not worse than dishonor; it’s not worse than losing your freedom; it’s not worse than losing a sense of personal responsibility.

William "Bill" Maher (b. 1956) American comedian, political commentator, critic, television host.
Be More Cynical (2000)
Added on 20-Apr-16 | Last updated 20-Apr-16
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Many have pursued honor, and in the pursuit lost more of it than ever they could gain.

Lloyd Alexander (1924-2007) American author
Taran Wanderer (1967)
Added on 28-May-15 | Last updated 28-May-15
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Is it not better to die valiantly, than ignominiously to lose our wretched and dishonoured lives after being the sport of others’ insolence?

[Nonne emori per virtutem praestat quam vitam miseram atque inhonestam, ubi alienae superbiae ludibrio fueris, per dedecus amittere?]

Catiline (108-62 BC) Roman politician [Lucius Sergius Catilina]
Quoted in Sallust, Catiline’s War, Book 20, pt. 9 [tr. Rolfe]

Alt. trans.: "Is it not better to die in a glorious attempt, than, after having been the sport of other men's insolence, to resign a wretched and degraded existence with ignominy?"
Added on 5-Jun-14 | Last updated 5-Jun-14
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What is left when honor is lost?

Publilius Syrus (d. 42 BC) Assyrian slave, writer, philosopher [less correctly Publius Syrus]
Sententiae [Moral Sayings], # 265
Added on 24-Apr-08 | Last updated 20-Feb-17
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Dishonor in public life has a double poison.  When people are dishonorable in private business, they injure only those with whom they deal or their own chances in the net world. When there is a lack of honor in Government, the morals of the whole people are poisoned.

Herbert Hoover (1874-1964) American engineer, bureaucrat, President of the US (1928-32)
Address, Des Moines, Iowa (30 Aug 1951)
    (Source)
Added on 27-Mar-08 | Last updated 2-Oct-18
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