Last week we asked you, dear readers, to share your opinions on the personality type of Elizabeth Bennet, the heroine of Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice. We were blown away by the responses that the article got – some thoughtful, some funny, and some totally surprising.
Many of you speculated that Elizabeth’s personality type was the Debater, some thought she was the Campaigner, and others felt she was the Protagonist. We heard suggestions ranging from Advocate to Virtuoso. Some of the most insightful debates centered on whether Elizabeth was a Prospecting or Judging type, and there were plenty of diverging opinions on where she fell on the Feeling or Thinking spectrum too.
One reader noted that it’s hard to type a fictional character, because if we like the character (and many of us are Elizabeth Bennet fans!) we might want to assume they share our personality type. Another reader said that, even if it’s hard to be 100% objective, it’s still a fun thought experiment.
So, with that in mind, what personality type do we at 16Personalities think suits Elizabeth Bennet?
We consider Elizabeth Bennet to be an Assertive Protagonist (ENFJ-A). Here’s why:
Elizabeth shines in the presence of company. Sure, she enjoys spending time on her own, but the prospect of a ball puts her in “the highest spirits.” Moreover, her energy seems heightened whenever she’s meeting someone new or engaging in conversation, which is why so many lines of her dialogue are witty to the point of being worthy of laughing out loud.
Elizabeth’s disregard for convention and interest in broader principles mark her as someone with the Intuitive personality trait. Plus, she demonstrates a tendency – not uncommon among Intuitive types – for her mind to wander. For example, there’s one priceless moment when Mr. Darcy asks whether her mind is in “the present” and she replies yes – but she doesn’t even realize what she’s said because “her thoughts had wandered far from the subject.”
When it comes to making decisions, Elizabeth goes with her feelings. That’s why she walks all those miles in the mud to see her sister Jane – even though, as another sister remarks, this “impulse of feeling” is unreasonable and out of proportion.
Let’s be clear – the Judging personality trait doesn’t mean that someone is judgmental. Instead, it points to someone who tends to be focused and steadfast in their opinions. This certainly is the case with Elizabeth, and although her steadfastness serves her well in many instances – for example, giving her the resolve to turn down Mr. Collins – it also blinds her to the true nature of Darcy and Wickham.
Elizabeth is stung when Mr. Darcy first snubs her – refusing to dance with her because she is “tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me.” That said, her self-esteem isn’t unduly affected by any external judgment. Almost immediately, she transforms Darcy’s snub into a humorous story she can tell her friends – “for she had a lively, playful disposition, which delighted in anything ridiculous.”
Elizabeth Bennet is a wonderful example of an Assertive Protagonist because she dispels common misunderstandings about this personality type. Protagonists are noted for being principled – and, as a result, some people think of them as humorless or duty-bound. But Elizabeth reminds us that they can be lively and funny, delighting in the world even if they find themselves at odds with societal expectations or prevailing opinions.
Spirited and warm-hearted, Elizabeth Bennet is among the best-loved characters of all time. Although she is an Assertive Protagonist, readers of every personality type can learn from – and enjoy! – her journey toward open-mindedness, self-discovery, and love.
Do you agree with our assessment, or do you see Elizabeth Bennet as the embodiment of another personality type? Let us know in the comments below.
If you’d like to learn more about personality types and how they’re used in creative ways, here are some more insights on our website!