Captain America (a.k.a. Steve Rogers, a.k.a. Cap) as a character originated in 1941 and, over the years, his character has changed. Most recently, Captain America has enjoyed a resurgence of popularity thanks to Marvel’s Captain America and Avengers movies.
With the return of the Avengers in 2019, we may see the wrap-up of many story lines that feature Captain America. In preparation for the next installment in the Avengers movie series, let’s take a look at the personality type of one of the key players in Marvel’s Avengers Universe, Captain America.
“This is why you were chosen. Because the strong man who has known power all his life may lose respect for that power, but a weak man knows the value of strength, and knows... compassion.”
What can we say about Captain America? He’s pretty much an all-around good guy. He is honest, up-front, loyal, extremely noble, and unfailingly dependable. His strengths don’t lie in creativity or brilliance, especially when compared to some other Avengers, but he is the one who can step in and lead all the complex personalities, skill sets, strengths, and weaknesses of this diverse team. Ultimately, he is the one to take on the role of the mission leader of the Avengers.
As a personification of the basic spirit of honesty, loyalty, and protection for all, it should be no surprise that Cap is representative of one of the most widespread personality types, the Defender. Heck, his “weapon” is a shield – how much more of a Defender can you be?
If you need someone to save the whole world, Captain America is your guy. He really has no vices that we know of, and his only real fault is that he can be a little dull at parties. We don’t have a clue what he does with his spare time, and we assume that he spends it training or rescuing kittens from trees.
He winds up being a perfect choice as the mission leader for the Avengers. Whereas Tony Stark, as a leader and sponsor, is often the big-idea guy, Cap is the guy who will steadfastly make sure that the team is in line, working well, training hard, and getting along. He keeps everyone clear on their goals and objectives through the force of his unflagging ideals.
Through this drive, he can hold a team together and command their loyalty even when the Avengers are officially dissolved. Even when he is marked as a criminal for defying the agreement to regulate the Avengers under the United Nations, he looks after the part of the team he is responsible for while biding his time until his help is needed again.
Let’s look at how Captain America’s personality, the Assertive Defender (ISFJ-A), breaks down by trait.
Steve Rogers as an individual pretty much keeps his own counsel. If there are things to be done, he’ll be leading the way. As far as being in the spotlight, though, it’s very much not his thing. He works well with most people. He is well respected and commands loyalty from most everyone, but ultimately, he quietly keeps to himself until he has a job to do.
He has only a very small circle of actual friends and doesn’t get out of that circle much. Despite being handsome, strong, and charismatic, he is awkward with people he doesn’t know and very shy with the women in his life.
Although he is at his happiest when he has some helpful, morally unambiguous stuff to do to make the world a better place, he’s not going to spend much time discussing it with anyone.
If you’re looking for someone who exemplifies the Observant personality trait, look no further than Captain America. Our description of this personality trait might as well have been written to describe Steve Rogers: “Observant individuals are highly practical, pragmatic, and down-to-earth. They tend to have strong habits and focus on what is happening or has already happened.”
He isn’t the one to come up with the team’s creative plans or analysis, nor to spend his time dreaming of the future – but once he has a solid picture of what is going on and what needs to happen, he’s all over it.
Cap is a person whose life revolves around feelings – loyalty, friendship, feeling out of place, honor, responsibility. He is strongly motivated to help others. Duty to him is a passion and a way of life, not an obligation.
He can get angry and confrontational with people, especially if he believes that something they are doing will cause harm to others. His initial arguments with Tony Stark fall along these lines – he believes Stark to be impulsive, reckless, and likely to get people hurt. Despite the rigidity that seems to be implied in the name “Captain America,” he will not hesitate to break with the status quo or authority if he feels it is wrong.
Steve Rogers is ultimately empathetic. He can tell when people are being hurt or wronged, and he is not one to stand by and watch it happen. He absolutely can’t abide bullies, tyrants, dictators, or anyone who tries to hurt or control others.
Cap is a planner and an organizer. He is one of those people who, if there isn’t a plan he fits into and something to do, feels lost and directionless. We don’t imagine he is ever very spontaneous.
He is steadfast in his ideals and views things very much as black and white. That said, his views are tempered by his Feeling personality trait, and so they also come from the heart. Because of how he was given his powers, he feels obligated to use them for good no matter what. He firmly believes that he must be the one to stand up first and fight for those who cannot fight for themselves. This is an unflagging drive in his personality.
It is common for Sentinel personality types to hold very clear and steadfast views. Such strong views are seen by some as unreasonably inflexible (as Tony Stark probably does from time to time). But Steve Rogers wields his beliefs as he does his shield, to protect himself, to keep going in the face of adversity, to defend others, and to lead his team by diving into the good fight first without hesitation – being the ultimate example for others to follow.
All of these traits combine to make a person who manages to work well with a team of very strong-willed individuals with a diverse set of personalities, strengths, and backgrounds.
“You asked about the Avengers. Y’wanna know the best part about being an Avenger? Having Captain America around you all the time. He just – the guy just brings out the absolute best in people. You want to be good when he’s around. You really do.”
For everything he has been through, Cap pretty much manages to keep to his stable, consistent, and reliable personality – no big emotional swings, nothing much ruffles him. He generally has a reasonably even temper. He has self-confidence and self-assurance in spades. He can maintain this calmness through the worst of missions, destructive battles, and even Tony Stark’s wrath.
Deep down inside, he may still have moments when he pictures himself as the weak but determined youth who refused to quit until he could do his part to defend his country. He also undoubtedly feels incredibly out of place, as he’s a person who is still trying to catch up on more than six decades of history and changes to the world.
With Steve Rogers, though, these troubling feelings don’t manifest in his personality. While he does struggle with these to some extent, the truth is, once he is on a mission and occupied with the work he lives for, he isn’t troubled by his doubts, concerns, or inner conflicts. He’s just there in the moment, giving all he has to complete his missions and defend those around him.
“When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world – ‘No, YOU move.’”
When typing fictional characters here at 16Personalities, the type we present is determined only by what we’ve seen of the character’s behavior and actions in the movies or books in which they appear. Ultimately, they are fictional and are used as a way to help others better understand various aspects of personality type.
This personality typing is based on the character as portrayed in Marvel’s Captain America and Avengers movies dating from 2011–2018.
So, do you have your own thoughts about Steve Rogers/Captain America’s personality? Let us know in the comments below!