Monday, December 19, 2011

The Musketeer Series: Post 1, The Humoral Personnality System

There are several different systems for analyzing personality types. My favorite is the Humoral System. In this method the personality types are named after different "humors" of the body. "Humor" is an old term for the fluids in the body. In the Middle Ages people thought that an imbalance in these fluids caused maladies and determined temperament.  The four humors that represent personality types are Melancholy, Sanguine, Choleric, and Phlegmatic.
Sanguine refers to the blood. This is a very warm and emotional temperament. They are the kind of people whose blood is frequently racing or it is rushing to their faces because they are excitable and emotional.
Phlegmatic refers to the phlegm of the throat, very dull, thick, and slow moving.  They're not dumb, but others may perceive them this way because they are passive and unmotivated to get ahead like Cholerics.
Melancholy means sad. In the Middle-Ages people attributed melancholy to an excess of the "black bile" excreted by the spleen, (Merriman-Webster), hence certain French poets, like Baudelaire, call the melancholia from which they suffered, "spleen." 
"Choler" is yellow bile secreted by the liver (Merriman-Webster) and "choleric" means easily angered (Merriman-Webster). In French the word for anger is "colère" similar to "choler."  Cholerics are goal-oriented people who get angry when things aren't done their way (Littauer).
People will usually exhibit some traits from all the categories, but are typically classified as belonging to two categories.  The category that describes them the most is their dominant personality while the one that are next most like is their secondary personality type. So people can be classified as Melancholy, Phlegmatic, Choleric, or Sanguine, ignoring the secondary personality type.  Just focusing on the primary temperament still gives a fairly accurate description of the individual. However, they can also be classified as Mel-Sang, Mel-Chlor, Mel-Phleg, Sang-Mel, Sang-Chlor, Sang-Phleg, Chlor-Mel, Chlor-Phleg, Chlor-Sang, Phleg-Mel, Phleg-Chlor, Phleg-Sang.  The primary type is listed first and the secondary second. Thus a Mel-Sang exhibits some different traits than a Sang-Mel.
In my analysis I found that D’Artagnan is Choleric, Porthos is Sanguine, Aramis is Melancholy, and Athos is 
Phlegmatic. More specifically, Athos is a phleg-Mel. The secondary personnality of the others is proving harder to figure out, so unless I figure them out soon, I will only talk about Athos at this level of analysis. 
The Three Musketeers

Housekeeping Note:
Since this is not a paper I am not going to stress out about citation, so it may prove to be slightly erratic.  The books from which I primarily learned about personality types are Personality Plus and Your Personality Tree by Florence Littauer.  Facts and anecdotes about the musketeers are from Les Trois Mousquetaires and Vingt Ans Après by Alexandre Dumas (père).
If you want to use any information from my blog it must be properly cited. If you wish to cite specific information about personality types, please consult these books instead of citing them as in my blog. The analysis is my own. I did not read what others have to say about the personalities of the Musketeers.

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