30 Metaphors for Guilt: The Weight of Wrongdoing


Guilt is a complex emotion that weighs heavily on the human psyche. It manifests in various forms, often described through metaphors that vividly depict its impact.

In this article, we explore common metaphors for guilt, each offering a unique insight into the experience of remorse and self-reproach.

Feeling guilty is like carrying a heavy bag of rocks on your back all day long. You can find more similes for guilt here: Similes for guilt. And if you’re curious about idioms for guilt, you can check them out here: Idioms for guilt.

What is a metaphor for guilt?

These metaphors for guilt offer poignant insights into the multifaceted nature of remorse and self-blame.


0%
0 votes, 0 avg
9
Created by Dr. Julia Rossi

English Language Level Placement Test – (TEFL)

Take this quiz and find out how good your English is. Pass and receive an “English Language Level Placement” certificate.

1 / 20

What is a simile?

2 / 20

Identify the simile in the following sentence: “She swims like a fish.”

3 / 20

What is a metaphor?

4 / 20

Which of the following is a metaphor?

5 / 20

What is an idiom?

6 / 20

What does the idiom “break the ice” mean?

7 / 20

What is an adjective?

8 / 20

Choose the adjective in the following sentence: “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.”

9 / 20

What is an abbreviation?

10 / 20

What does the abbreviation “e.g.” stand for?

11 / 20

What is a verb?

12 / 20

Identify the verb in the following sentence: “The cat sleeps on the sofa.”

13 / 20

“Out of the frying pan into the fire” is an example of:

14 / 20

Which of the following is an adjective?

15 / 20

The abbreviation “NASA” stands for:

16 / 20

Choose the metaphor in the following sentence: “Time is a thief.”

17 / 20

What does the idiom “hit the books” mean?

18 / 20

Which of the following sentences contains a simile?

19 / 20

“LOL” is an abbreviation for:

20 / 20

Identify the verb in this sentence: “They whispered secrets into the night.”

Enter your name and email to receive your certificate.

Your score is

The average score is 14%

0%


Whether it’s the suffocating embrace of wrongdoing or the thunderous storm of self-condemnation, each metaphor captures the profound impact of guilt on the human experience.

Summary

MetaphorMeaningExample Sentence
Heavy anchor in the heartGuilt feels like a heavy burden that weighs down the heart, making it difficult to move forward.The guilt of betraying his friend felt like a heavy anchor in his heart, dragging him down with each step.
Poisonous serpent coiled withinGuilt can feel like a dangerous and venomous presence lurking within one’s conscience.The lie he told felt like a poisonous serpent coiled within him, filling him with dread.
Suffocating shroud of remorseGuilt can envelop a person like a suffocating blanket of regret and sorrow.She couldn’t escape the suffocating shroud of remorse that engulfed her after hurting her sister.
Burden of a thousand stonesGuilt can feel as if one is carrying the weight of countless heavy stones, each representing a mistake or wrongdoing.The weight of his guilt felt like the burden of a thousand stones pressing down on his shoulders.
Dark cloud hanging overheadGuilt can cast a shadow over one’s life, obscuring happiness and clarity.The guilt from his actions hung over him like a dark cloud, dampening his spirits.
Burning ember of shameGuilt can burn within a person like a persistent ember of shame, refusing to be extinguished.Even years later, the burning ember of shame still smoldered within him for the harm he caused.
Tangled web of culpabilityGuilt can create a complicated and intricate web of responsibility and blame.Trying to untangle the web of culpability surrounding the accident was overwhelming.
Echoes of wrongdoing hauntingGuilt can linger in the form of haunting echoes, reminding one of past mistakes.The echoes of his wrongdoing haunted him, making it hard to escape the memory.
Wounded conscienceGuilt can inflict emotional wounds on one’s conscience, causing lasting pain.His wounded conscience reminded him daily of the harm he had caused.
Scalding brand on the soulGuilt can leave a permanent mark on the soul, like a scalding brand.The guilt of his actions left a scalding brand on his soul, impossible to ignore.
Prison bars of regretGuilt can feel like being imprisoned by regret, unable to break free from the consequences of one’s actions.He felt trapped behind the prison bars of regret, unable to undo the harm he had caused.
Weight of the world on the shouldersGuilt can make one feel as though they bear the weight of all the world’s troubles, overwhelming and burdensome.The guilt of failing his family felt like the weight of the world on his shoulders, almost too heavy to bear.
Dagger of self-reproachGuilt can pierce the heart like a sharp dagger of self-condemnation, causing deep emotional pain.Each time he thought of his mistake, it felt like a dagger of self-reproach stabbing at his conscience.
Choking grip of culpabilityGuilt can feel like a suffocating grip of responsibility and culpability, making it hard to breathe.The choking grip of culpability tightened around his throat, leaving him gasping for air.
Unforgiving judge withinGuilt can manifest as an inner critic, constantly judging and condemning one’s actions.The unforgiving judge within him berated him mercilessly for his mistakes.
Pounding drumbeat of condemnationGuilt can echo like a relentless drumbeat of condemnation, a constant reminder of one’s faults.The pounding drumbeat of condemnation echoed in his mind, drowning out all other thoughts.
Rotting core of remorseGuilt can eat away at the core of one’s being like a rotting decay of remorse, leaving a sense of emptiness.The rotting core of remorse gnawed at him, leaving him feeling hollow inside.
Stain that cannot be washed awayGuilt can leave a permanent mark on one’s conscience, like a stain that cannot be removed.The guilt of his actions left a stain that could not be washed away, no matter how hard he tried.
Ravenous beast of self-blameGuilt can consume one’s thoughts and emotions like a ravenous beast of self-blame, devouring any sense of peace.The ravenous beast of self-blame tore at his mind, leaving him feeling helpless and lost.
Gnawing worm of guiltGuilt can persistently nag at one’s conscience like a gnawing worm, causing ongoing distress.The gnawing worm of guilt burrowed deeper into his thoughts with each passing day.
Quicksand of wrongdoingGuilt can feel like sinking into a pit of quicksand, the more one struggles, the deeper they sink.The quicksand of wrongdoing pulled him down further with each attempt to escape its grasp.
Poisoned arrow in the psycheGuilt can penetrate the mind like a poisoned arrow, causing emotional turmoil and pain.The poisoned arrow in his psyche left him feeling wounded and vulnerable.
Ghost of mistakes pastGuilt can haunt one’s thoughts like a lingering ghost of past mistakes, refusing to be forgotten.The ghost of his mistakes past haunted him, appearing when he least expected it.
Thorns of regretGuilt can prick at the heart like sharp thorns of regret, causing both emotional and physical pain.The thorns of regret dug deeper into his conscience with each passing day.
Wailing banshee of remorseGuilt can cry out in one’s mind like a wailing banshee of remorse, haunting and unsettling.The wailing banshee of remorse tormented him, its cries echoing in the depths of his soul.
Suffocating embrace of wrongdoingGuilt can feel like being ensnared in the suffocating embrace of wrongdoing, unable to break free.The suffocating embrace of wrongdoing held him captive, preventing him from finding peace.
Thunderous storm of self-condemnationGuilt can roar within one’s mind like a thunderous storm of self-condemnation, overwhelming and fierce.The thunderous storm of self-condemnation raged on within him, leaving chaos in its wake.
Searing flame of culpabilityGuilt can burn within one’s conscience like a searing flame of culpability, leaving scars that never fully heal.The searing flame of culpability scorched his soul, leaving him scarred and broken.
Dark specter of wrongdoingGuilt can loom over one’s thoughts like a dark specter of wrongdoing, casting a shadow over every aspect of life.The dark specter of wrongdoing followed him wherever he went, a constant reminder of his past actions.
Pit of shame and sorrowGuilt can plunge one into a deep pit of shame and sorrow, making it difficult to see a way out.He felt himself sinking deeper into the pit of shame and sorrow, unable to find a way back to the surface.
metaphors for guilt

Metaphors for Guilt

1. Heavy anchor in the heart

Meaning: Guilt feels like a heavy burden that weighs down the heart, making it difficult to move forward.

In a Sentence: The guilt of betraying his friend felt like a heavy anchor in his heart, dragging him down with each step.

2. Poisonous serpent coiled within

Meaning: Guilt can feel like a dangerous and venomous presence lurking within one’s conscience.

In a Sentence: The lie he told felt like a poisonous serpent coiled within him, filling him with dread.

3. Suffocating shroud of remorse

Meaning: Guilt can envelop a person like a suffocating blanket of regret and sorrow.

In a Sentence: She couldn’t escape the suffocating shroud of remorse that engulfed her after hurting her sister.

4. Burden of a thousand stones

Meaning: Guilt can feel as if one is carrying the weight of countless heavy stones, each representing a mistake or wrongdoing.

In a Sentence: The weight of his guilt felt like the burden of a thousand stones pressing down on his shoulders.

5. Dark cloud hanging overhead

Meaning: Guilt can cast a shadow over one’s life, obscuring happiness and clarity.

In a Sentence: The guilt from his actions hung over him like a dark cloud, dampening his spirits.

6. Burning ember of shame

Meaning: Guilt can burn within a person like a persistent ember of shame, refusing to be extinguished. In a Sentence: Even years later, the burning ember of shame still smoldered within him for the harm he caused.

7. Tangled web of culpability

Meaning: Guilt can create a complicated and intricate web of responsibility and blame.

In a Sentence: Trying to untangle the web of culpability surrounding the accident was overwhelming.

8. Echoes of wrongdoing haunting

Meaning: Guilt can linger in the form of haunting echoes, reminding one of past mistakes.

In a Sentence: The echoes of his wrongdoing haunted him, making it hard to escape the memory.

9. Wounded conscience

Meaning: Guilt can inflict emotional wounds on one’s conscience, causing lasting pain.

In a Sentence: His wounded conscience reminded him daily of the harm he had caused.

10. Scalding brand on the soul

Meaning: Guilt can leave a permanent mark on the soul, like a scalding brand.

In a Sentence: The guilt of his actions left a scalding brand on his soul, impossible to ignore.

11. Prison bars of regret

Meaning: Guilt can feel like being imprisoned by regret, unable to break free from the consequences of one’s actions.

In a Sentence: He felt trapped behind the prison bars of regret, unable to undo the harm he had caused.

12. Weight of the world on the shoulders

Meaning: Guilt can make one feel as though they bear the weight of all the world’s troubles, overwhelming and burdensome.

In a Sentence: The guilt of failing his family felt like the weight of the world on his shoulders, almost too heavy to bear.

13. Dagger of self-reproach

Meaning: Guilt can pierce the heart like a sharp dagger of self-condemnation, causing deep emotional pain.

In a Sentence: Each time he thought of his mistake, it felt like a dagger of self-reproach stabbing at his conscience.

14. Choking grip of culpability

Meaning: Guilt can feel like a suffocating grip of responsibility and culpability, making it hard to breathe.

In a Sentence: The choking grip of culpability tightened around his throat, leaving him gasping for air.

15. Unforgiving judge within

Meaning: Guilt can manifest as an inner critic, constantly judging and condemning one’s actions.

In a Sentence: The unforgiving judge within him berated him mercilessly for his mistakes.

16. Pounding drumbeat of condemnation

Meaning: Guilt can echo like a relentless drumbeat of condemnation, a constant reminder of one’s faults.

In a Sentence: The pounding drumbeat of condemnation echoed in his mind, drowning out all other thoughts.

17. Rotting core of remorse

Meaning: Guilt can eat away at the core of one’s being like a rotting decay of remorse, leaving a sense of emptiness.

In a Sentence: The rotting core of remorse gnawed at him, leaving him feeling hollow inside.

18. Stain that cannot be washed away

Meaning: Guilt can leave a permanent mark on one’s conscience, like a stain that cannot be removed.

In a Sentence: The guilt of his actions left a stain that could not be washed away, no matter how hard he tried.

19. Ravenous beast of self-blame

Meaning: Guilt can consume one’s thoughts and emotions like a ravenous beast of self-blame, devouring any sense of peace.

In a Sentence: The ravenous beast of self-blame tore at his mind, leaving him feeling helpless and lost.

20. Gnawing worm of guilt

Meaning: Guilt can persistently nag at one’s conscience like a gnawing worm, causing ongoing distress.

In a Sentence: The gnawing worm of guilt burrowed deeper into his thoughts with each passing day.

21. Quicksand of wrongdoing

Meaning: Guilt can feel like sinking into a pit of quicksand, the more one struggles, the deeper they sink.

In a Sentence: The quicksand of wrongdoing pulled him down further with each attempt to escape its grasp.

22. Poisoned arrow in the psyche

Meaning: Guilt can penetrate the mind like a poisoned arrow, causing emotional turmoil and pain.

In a Sentence: The poisoned arrow in his psyche left him feeling wounded and vulnerable.

23. Ghost of mistakes past

Meaning: Guilt can haunt one’s thoughts like a lingering ghost of past mistakes, refusing to be forgotten.

In a Sentence: The ghost of his mistakes past haunted him, appearing when he least expected it.

24. Thorns of regret

Meaning: Guilt can prick at the heart like sharp thorns of regret, causing both emotional and physical pain.

In a Sentence: The thorns of regret dug deeper into his conscience with each passing day.

25. Wailing banshee of remorse

Meaning: Guilt can cry out in one’s mind like a wailing banshee of remorse, haunting and unsettling.

In a Sentence: The wailing banshee of remorse tormented him, its cries echoing in the depths of his soul.

26. Suffocating embrace of wrongdoing

Meaning: Guilt can feel like being ensnared in the suffocating embrace of wrongdoing, unable to break free.

In a Sentence: The suffocating embrace of wrongdoing held him captive, preventing him from finding peace.

27. Thunderous storm of self-condemnation

Meaning: Guilt can roar within one’s mind like a thunderous storm of self-condemnation, overwhelming and fierce.

In a Sentence: The thunderous storm of self-condemnation raged on within him, leaving chaos in its wake.

28. Searing flame of culpability

Meaning: Guilt can burn within one’s conscience like a searing flame of culpability, leaving scars that never fully heal.

In a Sentence: The searing flame of culpability scorched his soul, leaving him scarred and broken.

29. Dark specter of wrongdoing

Meaning: Guilt can loom over one’s thoughts like a dark specter of wrongdoing, casting a shadow over every aspect of life.

In a Sentence: The dark specter of wrongdoing followed him wherever he went, a constant reminder of his past actions.

30. Pit of shame and sorrow

Meaning: Guilt can plunge one into a deep pit of shame and sorrow, making it difficult to see a way out.

In a Sentence: He felt himself sinking deeper into the pit of shame and sorrow, unable to find a way back to the surface.

Here are 10 quiz questions about the metaphors in the article:

  1. What metaphor describes guilt as feeling like a heavy burden that weighs down the heart?
  • A) Poisonous serpent coiled within
  • B) Heavy anchor in the heart
  • C) Suffocating shroud of remorse
  • D) Dark cloud hanging overhead
  • Correct Answer: B) Heavy anchor in the heart
  1. Which metaphor compares guilt to a dangerous and venomous presence lurking within one’s conscience?
  • A) Dagger of self-reproach
  • B) Burning ember of shame
  • C) Poisonous serpent coiled within
  • D) Tangled web of culpability
  • Correct Answer: C) Poisonous serpent coiled within
  1. Which metaphor describes guilt as enveloping a person like a suffocating blanket of regret and sorrow?
  • A) Wounded conscience
  • B) Tangled web of culpability
  • C) Suffocating shroud of remorse
  • D) Ghost of mistakes past
  • Correct Answer: C) Suffocating shroud of remorse
  1. Which metaphor likens guilt to the weight of countless heavy stones, each representing a mistake or wrongdoing?
  • A) Weight of the world on the shoulders
  • B) Burden of a thousand stones
  • C) Dark specter of wrongdoing
  • D) Ravenous beast of self-blame
  • Correct Answer: B) Burden of a thousand stones
  1. What metaphor compares guilt to a shadow casting over one’s life, obscuring happiness and clarity?
  • A) Burning ember of shame
  • B) Scalding brand on the soul
  • C) Dark cloud hanging overhead
  • D) Pounding drumbeat of condemnation
  • Correct Answer: C) Dark cloud hanging overhead
  1. Which metaphor portrays guilt as a persistent ember of shame, refusing to be extinguished?
  • A) Unforgiving judge within
  • B) Burning ember of shame
  • C) Echoes of wrongdoing haunting
  • D) Thorns of regret
  • Correct Answer: B) Burning ember of shame
  1. What metaphor describes guilt as creating a complicated and intricate web of responsibility and blame?
  • A) Rotting core of remorse
  • B) Tangled web of culpability
  • C) Poisoned arrow in the psyche
  • D) Ghost of mistakes past
  • Correct Answer: B) Tangled web of culpability
  1. Which metaphor depicts guilt as lingering in the form of haunting echoes, reminding one of past mistakes?
  • A) Echoes of wrongdoing haunting
  • B) Choking grip of culpability
  • C) Suffocating embrace of wrongdoing
  • D) Wounded conscience
  • Correct Answer: A) Echoes of wrongdoing haunting
  1. What metaphor portrays guilt as inflicting emotional wounds on one’s conscience, causing lasting pain?
  • A) Scalding brand on the soul
  • B) Wounded conscience
  • C) Poisoned arrow in the psyche
  • D) Ravenous beast of self-blame
  • Correct Answer: B) Wounded conscience
  1. Which metaphor compares guilt to being ensnared in the suffocating embrace of wrongdoing, unable to break free?
  • A) Dark specter of wrongdoing
  • B) Suffocating embrace of wrongdoing
  • C) Rotting core of remorse
  • D) Thundersous storm of self-condemnation
  • Correct Answer: B) Suffocating embrace of wrongdoing

Conclusion

Metaphors offer powerful insights into the nature of guilt, illustrating its profound impact on individuals. Whether it’s the weight of a heavy anchor in the heart or the suffocating embrace of wrongdoing, these metaphors capture the complex emotions associated with remorse and self-blame.

About the author

Latest posts

  • 25 Metaphors For Love

    25 Metaphors For Love

    Love, a complex and multifaceted emotion, has been a timeless subject of exploration and expression. One way humans have sought to understand and convey the nuances of love is through…

    Read more

  • 17 Metaphors For Life + Quiz

    17 Metaphors For Life + Quiz

    Navigating the complexities of life often requires a metaphorical lens through which we can view our experiences. Metaphors for life provide a rich tapestry of imagery that encapsulates the essence…

    Read more