Was Shakespeare an INFP?

To be very honest, it is difficult to type other people, especially if they are no longer around, and used to be famous. Because who is to say what Shakespeare was like in his personal life, behind closed doors. We can speculate, but it is not possible to be certain. 

That being said, what is known about William is that his personality heavily reflected spirituality as well as creativity. That gives him an INFP vibe, especially when combined with the fact that he relied heavily on his art to get him by, socially as well as emotionally. He was known to be reserved and quiet, to the point of appearing to be shy. He was viewed as a mysterious, secretive man, in possession of undying curiosity and inquisitiveness. Sound like an INFP yet?

How about if I told you that mister Shakespeare was extremely caring and loving towards his family? He was often concerned with the financial conditions of his family, and was careful about maintaining their reputation, despite the fact that he lived separately from them. 

He was also highly philosophical in nature, and would often ponder on the meaning of life and its mysteries and sufferings. He was prone to melancholy feelings, yet had a strangely beautiful sense of optimism and humour about him, which was heavily reflected through his work. 

Speaking of his work, I have collected some of Shakespeare’s famous quotes, and since I personally view him as an INFP, I shall be using his own quotes to shed light on his INFP-ness. 

“When words are scarce they are seldom spent in vain.”

In other words, Shakespeare wasn’t much of a talker. INFPs possess the cognitive function of Introverted Feeling, which essentially means that they struggle with overtly expressing their thoughts and feelings. However, on the inside, there is a depth and intensity to the range of emotions they feel, which most people cannot even begin to fathom. 

“My bounty is as boundless as the sea, my love as deep.”

Speaking of depth, INFPs feel their emotions very deeply, and it wouldn’t be inaccurate to compare it with the depth of a sea. An INFP is a giver, who believes in handing over the entirety of his being to someone he loves. Shakespeare shares similar thoughts about having love and compassion in abundance, and always being there for the people he loves. 

“They do not love that do not show their love.”

And while we’re on the topic of love, Shakespeare believed that affection needs to be expressed and shown with actions, because mere words can never be enough. It is because of this that I am convinced he was an INFP. Because they are not afraid of showing the people they care for, with their actions, how much they mean to them. An INFP doesn’t shy away from going above and beyond to make their loved ones happy. 

“I love you with so much of my heart that none is left to protest.”

At the same time, INFPs don’t fight love. They believe that as human beings, they were created to find their perfect person and shower them with boundless love. Being feelers, INFPs experience phenomena such as love with unexplainable intensity, and they are not ones to fight their feelings. 

“Kindness in women, not their beauteous looks, shall win my love.”

INFPs are more concerned with who a person is on the inside, and not with what they look like. They value kindness and compassion over physical attractiveness, and Shakespeare has spoken about inner beauty and what it means to him on multiple occasions. Another one of his quotes addresses the fact that we do not fall in love with what we see, rather, what is more important is mental and emotional compatibility. It goes:

“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, and therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.”

An INFP believes in following his heart, and relies on his intuition to guide him to make the right decisions. Since INFPs are feeling type and not thinking type, they tend to rely less on logical reasoning and analysis and are more inclined towards what feels right.

“And yet, to say the truth, reason and love keep little company together nowadays.”

“Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.”

INFPs are highly critical of themselves and their abilities. Which is why they often find themselves being crippled by self-doubt. An INFP can often lose sight of their own abilities, and they fail to give things a try, because they’re terrified of being labelled as failures. An INFP is more likely to question their talent, and fail to be aware of it being present within them, than any other type out there.

“Modest doubt is called the beacon of the wise.”

That being said, these introverts also understand the importance of revaluating their abilities and pushing themselves to be and do better. Shakespeare said it best. Being well-aware of our limitations and aspects of our being that need to be worked on and improved, keeps us from boasting and being falsely prideful – which, in turn, prevents us from falling victim to overconfidence, and ultimately ridicule. 

“No legacy is so rich as honesty.”

If you know an INFP closely, you’d know that they are all about being their authentic selves. An INFP will always be real and honest. They remain true to their values, and that includes being a genuine person and telling the truth. Clearly, Shakespeare understands the importance of it. He says, 

“If we are true to ourselves, we cannot be false to anyone.”

An INFP’s commitment to their beliefs is unmatched. They are absolutely uncompromising of their morals, to the extent that they can appear to be stubborn and inflexible to other people. 

“Let me be that I am and seek not to alter me.”

“I wasted time, and now doth time waste me.”

INFPs are master procrastinators. Because they’re more inclined towards the arts and rely on their creativity to get their work done, they often find themselves stalling, and appear to be wasting their time doing pointless things. And sure, they can become lazy with work, but uneasy lies the head that wears the crown…. of creativity. Any artist would know that being creative isn’t simply a switch that can be turned on, and the magic just flows. It is a process, which can often be tedious, and may require an individual to relax their mind and let go, so that inspiration can strike when they’re not forcing themselves to make it happen.

“O, beware, my lord, of jealousy; it is the green-ey’d monster, which doth mock the meat it feeds on.”

I often quote Shakespeare when talking about an INFP’s jealousy, because I feel like he can relate. INFPs are known to feel their emotions with an extreme intensity. Which is no different when it comes to jealousy. INFPs are terrified of letting others see their jealous side, because they manifest it in form of a terrible, green eyed monster, who cannot be loved and is always misunderstood. Shakespeare is the man who gave an analogy which fits perfectly to not only the intensity of INFP jealousy, but also reveals how our beloved introverted feelers see themselves when they experience jealousy. 

“To be, or not to be: that is the question.”

INFPs are curious in nature. They seek answers for life’s biggest questions, as well as the smallest of mysteries. An INFP can be highly philosophical, and people who are well aware of the works of the great writer they called Shakespeare, know that this quality alone is more than enough to declare him one as well. 

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts.”

He was an inquisitive man, and had quite the imagination. His writing is proof of how his creativity explored endless realms which existed inside his imaginative head. 

“Sweet mercy is nobility’s true badge.”

INFPs tend to lean towards forgiving people for their mistakes. They believe that all humans are imperfect, and shall be given chances at redemption if they show remorse. Shakespeare believed that being kind and forgiving makes one truly noble.

“Many a true word hath been spoken in jest.”

Another reason why INFPs are quick to forgive is because they avoid conflict and confrontation at any cost. But there are things that they cannot let go of, and they are likely to choose the path of passive-aggressiveness to express their anger or pain. When an INFP jokes around with you, it is likely that they’re sharing their true feelings heavily concealed in humour. 

“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.”

That being said, INFPs take a long time developing trust on people. They may forgive easily, but they never forget how they were wronged. They use their memory of events for future reference, so that they can detect patterns being repeated, and get a deeper sense of who they can and cannot trust. 

Shakespeare’s work indicates that he wasn’t very big on trust. On countless occasions in his plays, he would reveal that out of all the knives in an individual’s back, the one put there by someone they trusted most, caused the worst pain. His famous “Et tu, Brute?” is often used by writers and comedians alike, when talking about not trusting people blindly. 

Despite all of his trust issues, Shakespeare believed in having self-control. He talked about minimizing other people’s suffering, and taking their pain away from them, putting excessive emphasis on making sure we don’t cause anybody harm. 

If that’s not an INFP trait, what is?

“For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds; lilies that fester, smell far worse than weeds.”