Four-Temperament Ensemble

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/stable_unstable.jpg
Clockwise from top left: Phlegmatic, Sanguine, Choleric, and Melancholic.

Note: All stereotypes can be any of the four temperaments, as style is a separate factor to ones temperament.

There are many ways to make a group of people diverse without giving them overly specialized roles within an ensemble. One way is through matching personality types according to a wacky ancient pseudoscience. The Four Temperaments (also called the "four humors") was a theory that behavior was caused by concentrations of body fluids — the "humors" of classical medicine: blood, yellow bile, black bile, and phlegm.

A temporary imbalance would create an illness: too much blood caused a fever, too much yellow bile caused a cough, too much black bile caused depression, and too much phlegm caused a cold. A permanent imbalance led to a person having a certain type of intentions, behavior, and personality. Though this has been a theory long-since discredited from a scientific standpoint, the general idea still remains and the theory is still used for personality profiling. An ensemble based on these four humors can make the cast diverse without actually changing the roles of the characters in the story.

Along with a list of characteristics, the four temperaments are:

  • Sanguine (blood): Extroverted, emotional, and people-oriented.
    • Key Strengths: Charming, cheerful, loves people, energetic, talkative, passionate and compassionate, positive, sometimes unpredictable, expressive influencer, an excellent comedian, salesman or clown, quirky or eccentric and just plain fun.
    • Key Weaknesses: Undisciplined, too talkative, emotionally unstable, hyperactive, scatterbrained, gullible, disorganized, late for work, and sometimes frivolous.
    • Expressive high, responsive high; response's delay short, duration short.
    • The Inspired Influencer of DISC and Myers–Briggs types generally E_F_.
    • Will often correspond with the Optimist and, at times, the Apathetic when in a Four-Philosophy Ensemble.
    • Amongst the "Dere Types" can qualify as a pure Yandere (Playful and Obsessive).
    • Oni type and Good Cop/Bad Cop: Brash Red Oni with snark, but an overall diplomatic "Good Cop"
    • Corresponding element, season, and division of a day: (hot and moist) air, spring, and morning.
    • In a person's life, it corresponds to young childhood (roughly ages 0-13).
    • Organ: Liver.
    • Archetypal color: Gold, brighter shades of yellow, all shades of pink or aqua (the colors of the Sky).
    • The Yin-Yang Duo: Yang (white).
    • Planet or Satellite: Jupiter.
    • Western Zodiac Constellations: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius.
    • Personality Blood Type: B
    • Apocalypse Horseman: Conquest/Pestilence.

  • Choleric (yellow bile): Extroverted, unemotional, and task-oriented.

  • Melancholic (black bile): Introverted, emotional, and task-oriented.
    • Key Strengths: Detailed, conservative, analytical, organized, perfectionistic, faithful to a fault, discreet will of stone, elegant (in the more dignified ways), selfless, an excellent medic or lawyer.
    • Key Weaknesses: Rigid, too straight-laced, critical, bashful, pessimistic, moody, depressed, impractical (yes, both practical and impractical), has unrealistically high expectations, very paranoid
    • Expressive low, responsive low; response's delay long, duration long.
    • The Contemplating Conscience of DISC and Myers–Briggs types generally I_T_.
    • Will often correspond with the Cynic or (the more pessimistic flavor of) the Conflicted when in a Four-Philosophy Ensemble. note 
    • Amongst the four main "Dere Types" can qualify as a pure Kuudere (Cold and Blunt).
    • Oni type and Good Cop/Bad Cop: Stoic, aloof Blue Oni, a cold "Bad Cop" with less involvement (if not a coward)
    • Corresponding element, season, and division of a day: (cool and dry) earth, autumn, and evening.
    • In a person's life, it corresponds to middle-aged adulthood (roughly ages 35-65).
    • Organ: Gall Bladder.
    • Archetypal color: Navy blue, dark purple, olive green, all shades of brown or black (the colors of a cave or cavern).
    • The Yin-Yang Duo: Yin (black).
    • Planet or Satellite: Saturn.
    • Western Zodiac Constellations: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn.
    • Personality Blood Type: A
    • Apocalypse Horseman: Famine.

  • Phlegmatic (phlegm): Introverted, unemotional, and people-oriented. note 
    • Key Strengths: Calm, humble, an excellent assistant, spy or librarian, discreet, flexible will of steel (flexible steel), elegant (in the simpler ways), thoughtful, patient, modest, a real sweetheart, accommodating, steady-paced, sympathetic, perceptive, faith in morality (and leading by example), very compassionate, assuming innocent until proven guilty, a good listener, open-minded, considerate, and empathetic to all.
      • In common with melancholic: Polite, reserved, gentle, ethical to a fault, dependable, mysterious, quiet and stealthy, a deep poker face
      • In common with sanguine: Pleasant, forgiving, witty, easygoing, idealistic endurer, emotionally available, a good sense of humour, good with relationships.
    • Key Weaknesses: Indifferent, submissive, lazy, slow, shy and passive, slacker, indecisive and too yielding.
    • Expressive low, responsive high; response's delay long, duration short.
    • The Stable Supporter of DISC and Myers–Briggs types generally I_F_.
    • Will often correspond with the Realist or the Conflicted when in a Four-Philosophy Ensemble.
    • Amongst the four main "Dere Types" can qualify as a pure Dandere.
    • Oni type and Good Cop/Bad Cop: Blue Oni and gentle, diplomatic "Good Cop"
    • Corresponding element, season, and division of a day: (cool and moist) water, winter, and deep night.
    • In a person's life, it corresponds to older adulthood (roughly ages 65 and up).
    • Organ: Lungs/Brain.
    • Archetypal color: Teal, green, white, gray, all shades of blue or black (the colors of the ocean).
    • The Yin-Yang Duo: Yin (blue).
    • Planet or Satellite: Moon.
    • Western Zodiac Constellations: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces.
    • Personality Blood Type: AB
    • Apocalypse Horseman: Death.

The four temperament system, while interesting, was seen as flawed even back then as some people did not fit with any of the presented humors, so a neutral temperament has been used, labeled sometimes as the Leukine, other times the Supine/Eclectic, although in fiction this has been mostly reserved either for the lead character or more commonly for secondary characters (as for Four-Philosophy Ensemble, usually the Realist or Apathetic).

A fifth temperament was originally derived in modern temperament theory from the once popular FIRO-B psychometric instrument, which included moderate scales. When the temperaments were mapped to it, the traditional Phlegmatic ended up moderate in both "expressive" (classic "extrovert" and "introvert") and "responsive" (classic "people vs task" focus) scales, and the low expressive high responsive area was labeled "Supine". In some versions of the theory, this is reversed, with the Phlegmatic kept in its old place, and the new temperament considered the moderate one.

This "fifth humour" often shares many common elements with the Phlegmatic. The difference is that the Phlegmatic is this way from a lower energy reserve which leads him to take the path of least resistance (to either go with the flow and be agreeable, or to be stubborn and slow), while the Supine has an emotional energy that drives him to be reserved, but wanting of acceptance from others.

Historically in plays, there was a whole genre: Comedy of Humors, where the impetus of the story is the sudden banding of these opposing types. This is in contrast to the Comedy of Errors, where the story is driven by the events and situations.

They are similar to the four Personality Blood Types, and are sometimes also a Four-Element Ensemble.

See also Cast Calculus for the overarching archetypes in this and differently numbered ensembles. Here is an Image Archive for this trope. Additionally, Pseudolonewolf (of MARDEK fame) has a page that goes into great detail on the four temperaments, here (older version with blends here), Eric B has a page that explains the five temperaments, [1], and The Other Wiki offers its information here. For another way to split up a group of four, see Four-Philosophy Ensemble.


Examples:


    open/close all folders 

    Fan Fiction 
  • The four main anthropomorphic animal characters in the Sonic X fanfic Don't Keep Your Distance. Paint (Sanguine), Maxwell (Choleric), Jewel (Melancholic), and Arrowhead (Phlegmatic) seem almost designed after the four classical temperaments at times.
  • Barack and the White House Boiz, consisting of Barack Obama (Melancholic), Joe Biden (Sanguine), Bill Clinton (Phlegmatic), and Mitt Romney (Choleric) in the RPF Ice Ice Baby. Barack is cautious and thoughtful, and refuses to be divisive. Joe is the happy-go-lucky, loudmouth of the bunch, Bill is humble in his talents, quiet and always willing to lend a helping hand. Mitt stays plotting, and only wants what's best for him. The four boiz work together to stop the assassination of Queen Elizabeth II.

In Sky Blade Academy, the four main characters definitely fit this:
  • Sanguine: Kaiba is the energetic, happy one who tends to be the nicest too.
  • Choleric: Kyoko is very Hot-Blooded and gets angry easily.
  • Melancholic: Atsuya is the analytical one, who always stays stone cold, even in the face of danger
  • Phlegmatic: Iki likes teasing people, but is also somewhat of an Extreme Doormat
  • The five heroes of Fantasy Database fit this trope:
    • Sanguine: Phaeton, fun loving, and somewhat dumb and perverted.
    • Choleric: Icarus, an extrovert who has trouble making friends, and is quite Hot-Blooded as a result.
    • Melancholic: Erika, The Stoic, and the most serious of the group.
    • Phlegmatic: Frey, who tries to stay cool headed in the face of danger.
    • Leukine: Mikael, the mediator, who tries to ensure that none of the above kill each other.

    • It's worth noting that while Frey is generally Phlegmatic, Icarus' Troll tendencies can push her into Choleric territory. Also, despite Frey being Phlegmatic, she is the Red Oni to the Choleric Icarus' blue.
  • The 5 main characters of Aesir: Cross Wars have this dynamic:

    Professional Wrestling 

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000, appropriately enough, the four gods of Chaos each represent an emotion and mindset. Khorne the god of anger and bloodshed is choleric. Slaanesh god of passion and lust is sanguine. Tzeentch god of ambition and hope is (ironically) melancholic. Nurgle god of despair and disease is phlegmatic.
  • This is an explicit game mechanic in Promethean: The Created, where four out of the five main player Splats is full of a specific humour that affects their personality and powers (with the fifth, Ulgan, being filled with the "ectoplasmic" humor of spirits). There are even mechanical benefits to travelling with a full Four-Temperament Ensemble.
  • The five praetors of Magic: The Gathering: Elesh Norn is choleric, Jin-Gitaxias is melancholic, Sheoldred is phlegmatic, Urabrask is sanguine and Vorinclex is eclectic.

    Television 
  • In the TV series Seinfeld, Jerry (sanguine) - extroverted, affable; George (melancholic) - rude, stubborn; Kramer (phlegmatic) - passive slacker, yet witty; and Elaine (choleric) - confident, hard to embarrass.

Alternative Title(s): Four Humour Ensemble, Five Temperament Ensemble, Four Humor Ensemble

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/FourTemperamentEnsemble