“Shame” has shown us that any man or woman is capable of deplorable deeds, when they are placed in conditions that could perpetuate this behavior. Remorse was subjective to each of the characters exhibited. First was Jan, a very sensitive and emotional character. Jan cried often and seemingly did not exude a machismo that many men might conjure up during hostile times. Jan and his wife Eva fled to the countryside to escape civil unrest in their nation. Instead of engaging in battle, Jan was more inclined to make every effort to retreat until the conflict settled. Eva was the more stern and tenacious character.
Clearly, she was the stronger of the two and had a toughness that matched her femininity. Lastly, there was Colonel Jacobi. Jacobi was the chief antagonist of the film and exhibited many sociopathic tendencies. From the start, he was unscrupulous and malevolent. As the movie progressed, we would see dramatic shifts in the persona of each character. Jacobi used his means and power to manipulate and coerce Eva into having sex with him. He has no regard for the fact that Eva is another man’s wife. Jacoby uses his status to impose his will and he is portrayed as a villain for doing so. Jan suddenly morphs from frail and meek to deceptive and brutal. He shamelessly pockets Jacobi’s money.
This act leads to the Colonel’s ultimate demise, when Jan lies about the whereabouts of the money. Furthermore, Jan murders a soldier who searches for refuge. One can articulate that this was an outburst of rage held in contempt for Jacobi’s seduction of Eva. Eva was the most consistent character in the story. She maintained the biggest morality, but justified her actions when they were perceived as a skew. In essence, all three characters show that in hostile and severe circumstances, the human nature is capable of anything to further a survival.