Henry IV / Henry V, William Shakespeare
Dominant Te: John Falstaff is a doer. He devises strategies to get what he wants and then actively seeks to make those plans a reality. He befriends Prince Hal in hopes of gaining prestige and status (that’s my take on him, although some would argue otherwise) and does everything he can to impress him, pretending to fight off a horde of enemies, and even going so far as to claim that he killed Hotspur. When his plans don’t work out, he takes a fatal blow –for instance, when Harry is crowned King and rejects their friendship, Falstaff doesn’t know what to do. Though Falstaff is reluctant to let his emotions show, he is deeply sensitive to Harry’s teasing and rejection of him. Falstaff measures reality through concrete facts and evidence, and does not believe in abstraction (“Can honour set-to a leg? No. Or an arm? No. Or take away the grief of a wound? No. . . . What is honour? A word.”)
Auxiliary Ni: Falstaff is always thinking of his future and where he wants to be. He is aware that Hal will eventually inherit his father’s throne and befriends him in hopes of getting something out of their friendship in the future. He becomes frustrated when his predictions fall short of the truth because it forces him to think of new possibilities –which isn’t necessarily his strong point. For instance, when he lies to Prince Hal about his “robbery” feat, he doesn’t consider, the possibility that Harry might be perfectly aware of his dishonesty. Again, when Hal steals his belongings to prank him, Falstaff immediately casts blame on the inn-keeper, rather than stopping to think of alternatives. Falstaff longs to create a positive vision of himself and so he repeatedly lies about his actions and nature.
Tertiary Se: Falstaff delights in extravagance and will do anything he can to get it without regard for integrity. He enjoys a good party and will steal just for the fun of it. It’s pretty obvious that Falstaff is an ENTJ who is unfortunately in the “grip” of his lower functions, meaning that he tends to get stuck using his weaker functions rather than his stronger ones. He doesn’t necessarily have a strong control over his appetites and ends up wasting away because of excessive drinking and likely…STDs… Sad day.
Inferior Fi: Falstaff doesn’t devote much time to determining what morals and principles to live his life by, but rather focuses on what he wants, which usually relates in some way to his feelings. Falstaff longs more than anything to feel important, and so he puts on a false (albeit unconvincing) image and strives to be a people pleaser without actually concerning himself with what other people need (it’s all about him).
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