Be All My Sins Remembered

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"Soft you now! The fair Ophelia! — Nymph, in thy orisons be all my sins remember'd."
Hamlet, Hamlet, Act III, Scene I

Roughly translated: "I shouldn't get any credit."

This trope refers to that state of mind in a Hero, an Anti-Hero, or possibly a Villain, in which he reflects on how He Is Not Worthy of the adulation or acclaim or status he has received. This isn't necessarily others denouncing him, or giving him inverted praise, as in Mark Antony over Caesar's body. This is where he either thinks or overtly says something like, "I am not worthy" or "I've done terrible things [to get here]". He may not regret the actions himself, but typically he regrets having to take the action. The idea is that he was either forced, through circumstances or personal weakness to do terrible things.

Sub-Trope of Dirty Business.

Compare No Place for Me There and The Atoner.

Examples of Be All My Sins Remembered include:


Anime & Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • In Monster, when Grimmer calls him a doctor, Tenma goes on an angsty tirade about how he is not worth the title because he killed someone. He doesn't know at the time that the person he thought he killed is still very much alive.
    • Eva also goes through a period of this when she realizes how badly she has been treating Martin (and how much worse she had been to Tenma).
  • In Code Geass, Suzaku almost constantly, because he has an enormous Guilt Complex. Lelouch also later on, as he does more and more morally dubious things for his cause.

Fan Works[edit | hide]

  • In the Pony POV Series Fluttershy actually ended up doing a lot of good as Princess Gaia/Nightmare Whisper, despite all the bad she also did. When given a celebration for the good she did (and that she was able to have the self control to at least TRY to do good when given the power of a goddess), she outright says there's a lot of things she did she'll never forgive herself for and she doesn't blame the ponies who won't forgive her for what she's done. She accepts those that will, but she'll never forget what she's done.

Literature[edit | hide]

  • The novel "All My Sins Remembered" by Joe Haldeman. The hero is a spy/operative for the galactic government. The novel is a series of debriefings where he tells what he had to do in the line of duty, and how those memories are gnawing on his conscience.
  • Again, inverted in Mark Antony's speech over Caesar's body, in the play "Julius Caesar". Antony says he is not there to praise Caesar, but clearly that is exactly his intent, as he recounts the evil (but charitable and heroic) deeds of Caesar.
  • The Book Ends to Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor, which take place after the story that elapses between them, make Luke into this. He actually hires an investigator to look over events and build a case against him. The investigator writes a holothriller script instead.
  • Skulduggery Pleasant has some moments in here too, yet never goes too dark about it.

Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • The Wayne's World skit on SNL parodies this to some extent with its catch phrase, "We're not worthy," whenever one of Wayne's or Garth's idols appears on camera.
  • Being Human (UK): Mitchell actually wants his sins forgotten, because for the vampires they're a source of inspiration. Still, the spirit remains - he doesn't want acclaim and admiration when he's primarily focusing on his all-consuming guilt.
  • Babylon 5:
    • Londo Mollari toward the end of the series.
    • Brother Edward a monk who discovers he was a serial killer before his death of personality.

Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Joshua Graham of Fallout: New Vegas has this mentality in the Honest Hearts DLC. When you're the co-founder of Caesar's Legion and responsible for atrocities such as rape, slavery, torture amongst other things, you honestly do have a lot to answer for.
  • In Final Fantasy Tactics, Delita Hyral ends up murdering or manipulating almost everyone he ever knew, to become king. The final scene of the game involves him lamenting over Ovelia, his dead wife and queen, wondering if it was all worth it.

Web Comics[edit | hide]

O-Chul: Thank you once more for all that you have done.
Vaarsuvius: Please, do not remind me of all that I have done.

Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Dinobot, the Heel Face Turn Blood Knight of Beast Wars, says something like this on his death bed, following a Heroic Sacrifice where he saves the human race, despite the fact that their annihilation would guarantee his ancestors win the great war. He tells his new comrades that he should not be regarded as a hero, but that history should judge him.
    • And it has. Dinobot is regarded as one of the greatest characters in the entire Transformers franchise.