Four humours and their relationship to personality

Passions & Tempers, a History of the Humours - Humours

four humours and their relationship to personality

and of psychiatrists to cure our minds - and about the relation between medical or scientific and established until modern times, we harboured all four humours in the blood. Ideally all of the humours had to be balanced, according to one`s These are described on the results page if you take the humoural personality. A man with a bearded sitting with a book on his lap and a bag in The four bodily humors were part of Shakespearean cosmology, inherited . we would call personality) was literally a matter of temperature—the result of the. Ancient concept of four personality types -- sanguine, phlegmatic, choleric, and Here are the four temperaments and their predominant humors (bodily fluids): to say, this trait may sometimes negatively affect their romantic relationships.

Though the use of humoralist medicine continued during this time, its influence was diminished in favor of religion. When blood is drawn in a glass container and left undisturbed for about an hour, four different layers can be seen. A dark clot forms at the bottom the "black bile". Above the clot is a layer of red blood cells the "blood". Above this is a whitish layer of white blood cells the "phlegm".

Hippocrates Galen and the Four Humours

The top layer is clear yellow serum the "yellow bile". Ancient Greek medicine Hippocrates is the one usually credited with applying this idea to medicine. One of the treatises attributed to Hippocrates, On the Nature of Man, describes the theory as follows: The Human body contains blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile.

These are the things that make up its constitution and cause its pains and health. Health is primarily that state in which these constituent substances are in the correct proportion to each other, both in strength and quantity, and are well mixed. Pain occurs when one of the substances presents either a deficiency or an excess, or is separated in the body and not mixed with others. While Galen thought that humors were formed in the body, rather than ingested, he believed that different foods had varying potential to be acted upon by the body to produce different humors.

Warm foods, for example, tended to produce yellow bile, while cold foods tended to produce phlegm. Seasons of the year, periods of life, geographic regions and occupations also influenced the nature of the humors formed.

four humours and their relationship to personality

People with sanguine would be optimistic, red-cheeked, corpulent, irresponsible compare Falstaff. A dominance of yellow bile meant that the person was violent and vengeful. Yellow bile was referred to as Choleric, with its qualities being hot and dry, representing fire. People will yellow bile would be short-tempered, red-haired, thin and ambitious compare Hotspur. If a person were dull, pale, and cowardly it was presumed to be due to an excess of phlegm.

Phlegmatic connoted cold and moist and represented water. People representing phlegm would be sluggish, pallid, corpulent and lazy. Their humour is called Melancholic, and its qualities are cold and dry, representing the earth.

Four temperaments - Wikipedia

Characteristics include being introspective, sallow, thin compare Richard II, Hamlet. Different humours could be combined for more complex personality types: Desdemona is sure that the sun of Africa baked out any humours that could have made Othello a jealous man.

Hamlet The melancholy temperament abounds throughout Elizabethan literature.

four humours and their relationship to personality

In early modern England, a melancholy temperament carried serious implications. In Hamlet, the titular character constantly broods throughout his tragedy, wracked with grief from the recent death of his father, the recent remarriage of his mother to his uncle, and his tumultuous love affair with Ophelia.

The other characters call him mad, and struggle to uncover the cause of his illness. Hamlet worries, second-guesses, and questions everything, ultimately destroying himself and those around him.

four humours and their relationship to personality

While Shakespeare often made reference to the governing organ of humoral fluids, he makes only one reference to the spleen in Hamlet. In this sole reference to the spleen, Hamlet refers to choler rather than melancholy, insisting that he is not ruled by fiery passion like Laertes. Interestingly, although Shakespeare makes countless textual allusions to the humors throughout his plays, he refrains from linking the spleen to melancholy. Rather, as Hoeniger asserts, Shakespeare links the spleen to other humors to demonstrate a functioning spleen that absorbs excessive black bile The melancholy temperament arises from the element earth.

Shakespeare and the Four Humours

Dry and cold, a surplus of earth causes slow, heavy movement in its host Anderson If this number seems insignificant, we must remember that Shakespeare chose his words carefully and deliberately. To prove that usage of the word was not common, I will point out that The Taming of the Shrew uses the word only once.

Thus the text offers clues to the melancholy temperament of its protagonist. Often, characters in the play make references stressing the distance between heaven and earth.

While Hamlet is alive, he is ruled by melancholy; he is ruled by the element earth while he walks the earth. This melancholy prevents him from the decisive action to which he has been called by the ghost of his father.