Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Musketeer Series: Post 4, Aramis

We see that Aramis is neither Choleric nor Sanguine because he neither takes control nor is talkative.  Under scrutiny, one sees that he is a Melancholy.  Melancholys seek perfection and the ideal and are depressed because they don't find it in this world (Littauer, Your Personality Tree 46).  They are analytical and pay attention to the little details (Littauer, Personality Plus 15, 38-39).  They like order and are orderly and organized (39, 15).  As introverts (15) they study their own thoughts and feelings.  Aramis, though serving as a musketeer, planned on joining the Church one day.  The Catholic Church has a system of hierarchy and the monks and priests  live in an orderly fashion as they strive for perfection by abandoning the sins of the world.  Aramis studied theology and at one point he began working on a thesis under the guidance of church officials (336).  So we see that Aramis has a bent for the scholarly pursuits and analysis.  This is fitting with the Melancholy personality since Melancholies tend to do well in school because they pay attention to details and many are perfectionists.   
            Aramis was chosen to write an important note about a delicate business because he was the one with knowledge and finesse in matters like this.  This scene is a charming little anecdote because the personalities of the different characters come out quite clearly. D’Artagnan, the go-getter Choleric tries to write the note but lacks the finesse needed and instead said brash things that would be rude (585). Athos, the Phleg-Mel of noble birth, understands what sort of things not to say and corrects D'Artagnan's mistakes, but either not wanting to take the trouble or else recognizing Aramis' superior skill he recommends the task to him.  Cholerics are not known for patience and d’Artagnan was soon frustrated with Athos' corrections, at which point the work was given over to Aramis. As a Melancholy, Aramis did not snap up the task in the first place but waited until his talents are recollected by the others. After d'Artagnan's rough attempts, Athos told him to give the plume to "the abbot" since it suited him -meaning Aramis- and Porthos seconded the idea declaring him a writer of theses (585).  Once finished, Aramis read his note, "as if each word had been scrupulously weighed" (587). Thus we see Aramis' attention to detail.  The note was so well written that Athos praised it and placed Aramis on par with the Seceretary of State (587).   
We are also told that Aramis has beautiful teeth "of which, like the rest of his person, he seemed to take the best care" (Dumas 38).  The tidiness of the Melancholy carries over into hygiene and appearance, so they tend to be dressed neatly and appropriately, and guard every hair in place (based on Littauer).
There is much more that one could say on this subject, but I believe this is enough for the time being.  If you read the book then you may see for yourself how these characters come to life while picking up other clues to their personalities. 

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