Pride Brought Low
Motifs L400–L499
ByJudith Neaman
Pages 4

The phrase "pride brought low" ignores the positive aspects of pride and hews to the more dominant tradition—that, since it is disproportionate vanity, it must be leveled. Sometimes, however, pride is considered a virtue, especially when it is pride in something or someone else, pride in a country or in a friend, for example. The most direct and accessible phrase identifying this motif is "pride humbled," a condition often colloquially described in the United States as being "cut down to size" or "falling off a high horse." The image evoked by the expression "pride brought low" depends upon a standard verbal and visual iconography of pride. Pride is always depicted as large in length and breadth. The images and sayings concerning the humbling of pride, the most familiar to Western readers are probably those in the Old and New Testaments. The genealogy of pride is easily traceable in Western texts.