This article discusses the presentation of reflective retreat in Shakespeare and Montaigne, noting that for both of them reflection frequently follows an experience of shame. Moreover, for both reflection offers no path out of embodiment. That is, neither embraces a hallowed Platonic (and an imminent Cartesian) idea that a focus on mental life extricates one from the difficulties of embodiment.
Being seen in a bad light, gazed at with a critical, superior eye, promotes shame. As Silvan Tomkins comments,
The shame response is an act which reduces facial communication. It stands in the same relation to looking and smiling as silence stands to speech and as disgust, nausea and vomiting stand to hunger and eating. By dropping his eyes, his eyelids, his head and sometimes the whole upper part of his body, the individual calls a halt to looking at another person, particularly the other person's face, and to the other person's looking at him, particularly at his face.
Closing eyes or bowing the head to break eye contact with the shamer, covering the face or the exposed body parts, are, in effect, an attempt to enlarge or barricade the space between the shamed body and the shaming, gazing body of the other. Flushing (more involuntary than the first two, but not much more involuntary) may in some physical or residually animal way be an attempt to accomplish the same thing by changing colour, radiating heat, producing a warning sweat, stoking the metabolism for conflict or flight.