The idiom "racked with guilt" generally refers to feeling intensely guilty or being tormented by guilt. It paints a vivid picture of someone being tortured by their guilty conscience, typically due to something they've done or failed to do. This expression indicates a deep, overwhelming sense of guilt, and it's often used in situations where someone's actions have had significant, often negative, consequences.
The expression “racked with guilt” symbolizes being overwhelmed or tormented by guilt. If someone is "racked with guilt," they are experiencing intense feelings of guilt or remorse that are hard to bear.
Let's delve into its essential meanings and usage:
The phrase "racked with guilt" takes its origins from the concept of physical torture, specifically the medieval torture device known as the rack. Over time, this has shifted to a metaphorical sense, symbolizing the mental torment experienced by intense guilt. Nowadays, it primarily symbolizes the emotional torment associated with feelings of guilt.
"What other refuge can a soul find that is racked with guilt? Let him go to his wealth, his honors, his pleasures; they are all unsavory ashes in the mouth of a man dying with hunger."
- Edward Dorr Griffin, Sermons Volume 2, 1839
To help you understand when and how to use this phrase, let's consider some examples from various scenarios:
The expression "racked with guilt" is frequently encountered in pop culture, generally illustrating deep remorse or regret in characters.
Here are some examples:
Several other phrases and idioms can communicate the same sense of intense guilt as "racked with guilt."
Here are some alternatives:
"Racked with guilt" is an idiomatic expression used to describe an individual who is experiencing deep remorse or guilt about something they have done.
You can use "racked with guilt" to express deep remorse or regret. For example, "He felt down and depressed. He was racked with guilt for letting his family and friends down."
The phrase "racked with guilt" originates from the torture device known as the rack. It is used metaphorically to express the pain of intense guilt.
"Racked with guilt" can be used in both formal and informal contexts. It's often used in literature and other narrative forms to express deep emotional turmoil.
No, "racked with guilt" simply implies a strong sense of guilt or remorse, which can arise from a wide range of actions, from minor transgressions to serious offenses.
Yes, "racked with guilt" can be used to describe a group or society feeling collective guilt for a shared wrongdoing or injustice.
While guilt can be a normal emotional response, being "racked with guilt" implies an intense level of guilt that can potentially be harmful to mental health if it persists. Professional help should be sought if intense guilt feelings interfere with daily life.
Yes, feeling "racked with guilt" can lead to positive outcomes if it motivates an individual to make amends, correct their behavior, or seek forgiveness.
"Racked with guilt" conveys intense guilt feelings, but it does not necessarily imply repentance. However, such strong feelings of guilt can often lead to a desire for repentance.
It's unclear whether animals experience guilt in the same way humans do. While some animals may show behaviors that look like guilt, it's not certain whether they truly feel "racked with guilt" as humans do.
The idiom "racked with guilt" paints a vivid picture of the intense emotional turmoil one can experience when dealing with strong feelings of guilt or remorse. It's a universal human experience that cuts across cultures, languages, and personal backgrounds. This phrase underlines the importance of understanding our actions and their consequences, the need for forgiveness and making amends when we've done wrong, and the potential for personal growth that can come from grappling with guilt.
Here's a quick recap:
Despite its unpleasant nature, guilt plays a critical role in our moral and social lives, helping us recognize when we've made a mistake and encouraging us to correct it. The phrase "racked with guilt" powerfully encapsulates this complex emotional experience.