The Four Temperaments

Meta related to characters, plots, or other elements introduced by Victor Hugo in Les Misérables.
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Gervais
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The Four Temperaments

Postby Gervais » Sun Jun 02, 2013 5:06 am

Who in Les Miz is/has which temperament?

The Wikipedia overview: Four temperaments is a proto-psychological interpretation of the ancient medical concept of humorism and suggests that four bodily fluids affect human personality traits and behaviors. The temperaments are sanguine (pleasure-seeking and sociable), choleric (ambitious and leader-like), melancholic (analytical and thoughtful), and phlegmatic (relaxed and quiet).

And then some stuff on the temperaments themselves:

Sanguine:
The sanguine temperament is fundamentally sociable and pleasure-seeking; sanguine people are impulsive and charismatic. They tend to enjoy social gatherings, making new friends and tend to be boisterous. They are usually quite creative and often daydream. However, some alone time is crucial for those of this temperament. Sanguine can also mean sensitive, compassionate and romantic. Sanguine personalities generally struggle with following tasks all the way through, are chronically late, and tend to be forgetful and sometimes a little sarcastic. Often, when they pursue a new hobby, they lose interest as soon as it ceases to be engaging or fun. They are very much people persons. They are talkative and not shy. Sanguines generally have an almost shameless nature, certain that what they are doing is right. They have no lack of confidence. Sanguine people are warm-hearted, pleasant, lively and optimistic. They have been called "people-oriented extroverts."


Choleric:
The choleric temperament is fundamentally ambitious and leader-like. They have a lot of aggression, energy, and/or passion, and try to instill that in others. They are task oriented people and are focused on getting a job done efficiently; their motto is usually "do it now." They can dominate people of other temperaments with their strong wills, especially phlegmatic types, and can become dictatorial or tyrannical. Many great charismatic military and political figures were cholerics. They like to be in charge of everything and are good at planning, as they can often immediately see a practical solution to a problem. However, they can quickly fall into deep depression or moodiness when failures or setbacks befall them. They have been called "task-oriented extroverts."


Melancholic:
The melancholic temperament is fundamentally introverted and is given to thought. Melancholic people are often perceived as very (or overly) pondering and are both considerate and very cautious. They are organized and schedule oriented, often planning extensively. Melancholics can be highly creative in activities such as poetry, art, and invention – and are sensitive to others. Because of this sensitivity and their thoughtfulness they can become preoccupied with the tragedy and cruelty in the world and are susceptible to depression and moodiness. Often they are perfectionists. Their desire for perfection often results in a high degree of personal excellence but also causes them to be highly conscientious and difficult to relate to because others often cannot please them. They are self-reliant and independent, preferring to do things themselves to meet their standards. One negative part of being a melancholic is that they can get so involved in what they are doing they forget to think of other issues. Their caution enables them to prevent problems that the more impulsive sanguine runs into, but can also cause them to procrastinate and remain in the planning stage of a project for very long periods. Melancholics prefer to avoid much attention and prefer to remain in the background; they do, however, desire recognition for their many works of creativity.They have been called "task-oriented introverts."


Phlegmatic:
The phlegmatic temperament is fundamentally relaxed and quiet, ranging from warmly attentive to lazily sluggish. Phlegmatics tend to be content with themselves and are kind. Phlegmatics are consistent, they can be relied upon to be steady and faithful friends. They are accepting and affectionate, making friends easily. They tend to be good diplomats because their tendency not to judge and affable nature makes reconciling differing groups easy for them. Phlegmatics prefer to observe and to think on the world around them while not getting involved. They may try to inspire others to do the things which they themselves think about doing. They may be shy and often prefer stability to uncertainty and change. Their fear of change (and of work) can make them susceptible to stagnation or laziness, or even stubbornness. They are consistent, relaxed, calm, rational, curious, and observant, qualities that make them good administrators. They can also be passive-aggressive. They have been called "people-oriented introverts."


The only one really jumping out at me is Sanguine for Courfeyrac and possible Melancholic for Prouvaire. I'm also thinking maybe Choleric for Enjolras.
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Re: The Four Temperaments

Postby WhoIam » Sun Jun 02, 2013 5:12 am

Yes, definitely Sanguine for Courfeyrac :D
Maybe Melancholic for Combeferre as well?
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Re: The Four Temperaments

Postby Gervais » Sun Jun 02, 2013 5:15 am

I can see him as that, AJ. Maybe Phlegmatic for Cosette?
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Re: The Four Temperaments

Postby WhoIam » Sun Jun 02, 2013 5:20 am

Yes, that seems to fit Cosette.
But only "maybe" for Enjolras? It seems to me it's almost certain.

Hugo actually says outright that Jehan is melancholic. In chapter six of A Few Pages of History, he says that Enjolras is "inwardly composing" the qualities of his friends. And Prouvaire's quality is his melancholy.
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Re: The Four Temperaments

Postby Gervais » Sun Jun 02, 2013 5:24 am

My friend still has my brick, so thanks for the reminder. :D Though I guess I could pull it up online.

It was just something about the way the definition was phrased that put me as "maybe" for Enjolras; it seemed almost too...cruel, maybe? Or cold. But he is a little cold anyway (not really cruel, but he's the Marble Lover of Liberty after all), so it fits better than I was thinking it did.
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Re: The Four Temperaments

Postby Rebus » Sun Jun 02, 2013 12:19 pm

Enjolras - choleric
Grantaire - varies between sanguine and melancholic on a sort of bipolar spectrum. Guess you could say he's sanguine with a touch of the spleen. ^^
Combeferre -phlegmatic
Jean Valjean - melancholic

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Re: The Four Temperaments

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Sun Jun 02, 2013 3:39 pm

Enjolras ---choleric
Marius ---melancholic?
Cosette ---phlegmatic
Courfeyrac--- sanguine
Bahorel ---sanguine
Éponine ---sanguine?
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Re: The Four Temperaments

Postby freedomlover » Sun Jun 02, 2013 6:25 pm

Enjolras- choleric
Marius- melancholic
Eponine- sanguine
Courfeyrac- sanguine
ImageTime Machine Theory:According to some people, Hugo had a time machine and based Enjolras on this user but made a male version of this user.

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Re: The Four Temperaments

Postby meow139 » Sun Jun 02, 2013 11:36 pm

Bahorel- probably sanguine
Feuilly- maybe sort of choleric or melancholic, not sure
Combeferre- melancholic
Courfeyrac- sanguine, no question
Enjolras- choleric
Grantaire- I would have to say he strikes me as sort of melancholic, rather brilliant but with so much wasted potential
Joly- probably phlegmatic
Bossuet- phlegmatic
Jehan- melancholic, in Hugo's own words

Eponine- augh, she's the hardest for me; I would have to guess sort of sanguine, just based on the way she acts around Marius, but I can't be certain.
Marius- rather melancholic, I think
Cosette- phlegmatic

Javert- choleric or melancholic, I should say
Valjean- possibly phlegmatic, but I could see him as melancholic

Fantine- like daughter, like mother; phlegmatic
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Re: The Four Temperaments

Postby CeridwenLynne » Wed Oct 16, 2013 6:30 pm

I see most people as being temperament blends.

Enjolras is definitely a choleric perhaps with just a touch of melancholy.

Courfeyrac is 100% sanguine. I really can't see him as anything else.

Combeferre and Joly are most likely melancholy. Joly's secondary temperament is probably sanguine while Combeferre is more phlegmatic.

Bahorel?? Maybe choleric with a bit of sanguine.

I see Marius, Feuilly, and Grantaire as mostly phlegmatic.

Jehan is likely a sanguine/melancholy.

Lesgles??? A melancholy/ phlegmatic
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Re: The Four Temperaments

Postby WhoIam » Wed Oct 16, 2013 7:51 pm

Jehan is melancholy. Hugo literally says it in the novel. Lesgle is phlegmatic, most likely, Bahorel is sanguine, Grantaire as melancholic, and I agree with you on the rest. Basing the traits of the temperaments off of the introvert/extrovert and people-oriented/task-oriented definition.
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Re: The Four Temperaments

Postby Gervais » Wed Oct 16, 2013 8:44 pm

The thing that gets me with "Hugo literally calls X as Y" is that, well, melancholic is an adjective. Granted, for what you're using it for, it has the same meaning (thoughtful, philosophical), but I'm not sure Hugo meant the temperament. Exactly.
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