After 400 years, the works of William Shakespeare have been analyzed six ways from Sunday, as we say here in the South. But old Will didn’t have access to personality assessments, and we do! We’ve joined forces with our board member, Kellie Artis – co-founder of Milspo Gurus, a platform committed to helping military spouses uncover and embrace their identity through self-awareness using tools like The Enneagram – to do a deep dive into the personalities of Shakespeare’s cadre of characters.


The Enneagram is a powerful tool for personal and collective transformation. The nine-pointed Enneagram symbol represents nine distinct strategies for relating to the self, others and the world. Each Enneagram type has a different pattern of thinking, feeling and acting that arises from a deeper inner motivation or worldview. More over at The Enneagram Institute.

Shakespeare Enneagram

Okay, but really: what is the Enneagram?

The enneagram is a personality assessment tool that categorizes people into nine different types, each with its own unique set of motivations and tendencies.

How Does the Enneagram Work?

The enneagram works by engaging in a self-discovery journey that probes into your motivations and tendencies. You then work to discover your type and subtypes.

What Can the Enneagram Tell Us About Shakespeare’s Characters?

The enneagram can tell us a lot about Shakespeare’s characters. For example, it can help us to understand why they behave the way they do and what motivates them.

In our Shakespeare and Enneagram series, we take  a closer look at some of Shakespeare’s most famous characters and see how the enneagram can help us to understand them better.

shakespeare enneagream


In an episode dedicated to each distinct Enneagram type (as well as bonus episode!) Jeremy Fiebig – STS Artistic Director, Claire Martin – Assistant Artistic Director, and STS Board Member, Kellie Artis discuss the signature traits of each. Popcorn is suggested as Jeremy and Claire then duke it out as they make their case for which of Shakespeare’s characters fit each type. You’ll end each episode with deeper insights into Shakespeare, and by way of his characters, a little something about yourself. Working through the Enneagram fosters greater understanding through a universal language that transcends gender, religion, nationality and culture, and helps create healthier relationships. 

What is the Enneagram personality test?

Though Enneagram exploration can be a weeks, months, and even years-long process of discovery, some online Enneagram personality tests can give you a head start.


Why Shakespeare and the Enneagram?

In the 400 years since William Shakespeare wrote his plays, they have been analyzed and interpreted in countless ways. But what if he had access to personality assessments? What would his characters look like if they were evaluated using The Enneagram?

To answer this question, we enlisted the help of Kellie Artis, co-founder of Milspo Gurus and an expert on The Enneagram. According to Artis, the personalities of Shakespeare’s characters can be understood using this tool. “The Enneagram is a system that provides a framework for understanding human behavior,” she says. “It is based on the idea that each person has a type or style of personality that influences how they think, feel, and behave in the world. We all possess qualities of each type, but we tend to favor one style over others.”

The enneagram has three groups: instinctual, emotional, and mental. Each group is divided into three types that represent the fears, motivations, and fixations of each enneatype. We took into account each of these factors when evaluating characters for this series.

“We tend to create an enneagram chart around topics or themes,” the contributors say. “Each enneatype has a slightly different way of interacting with the world. While it’s easy to find commonalities between ennea-types, there are still vast differences in how they operate.”

To determine which enneatypes might fit which characters, we used enneagram type profiles  and some of our own understanding of the characters to create enneagram hypotheses for each one. “We kept in mind their relationships with other characters, how they might feel about themselves and others, and why they may act the way they do,” say the contributors.

“There is no right or wrong enneatype for any character,” say Kellie, Claire, and Jeremy. “Although certain ennea-types are more similar than others.” By recognizing these similarities and differences, we can get a better sense of who these people were beyond their playwright/historical context. And it just might help us understand them better than ever before.

Our Shakespeare Enneagram Episodes

All our episodes from this 10-shows series are on our Youtube Channel. Look for the Enneagram playlist.

Enneagram Book Lists

Recommended Reading
Amazon List – Be sure to use smile.amazon.com and select Sweet Tea Shakespeare! We get a percentage of all sales this way.

Shakespeare and Enneagram Contributors

Kellie Artis (she/her) is the Chief Operations Officer for MILLIE, a startup focused on easing the stress of PCS’ing on military families. Kellie is also the co-founder of Milspo Gurus, a platform committed to helping military spouses uncover and embrace their identity through self-awareness using tools like the Enneagram. In Kellie’s words, “One day, a pair of podcasters hosted an episode exploring the Enneagram. Not only was this personality framework utterly fascinating, I immediately identified with a type that not only helped explain my tendency towards escapism, but also illuminated a healthier path out of the situation I was struggling with.”

Claire F. Martin (she/her) is a professional theater artist, specializing in classical theater and literary adaptation. She is based in Raleigh, NC. Director/playwright/actor/dramaturg. Theatre Directing, Royal Holloway. B.A. Theatre Arts & English (Honors), University of Puget Sound. SDC Associate Member, LMDA, SAA. “I love the Enneagram because I love exploring human nature! All my work as a theater artist derives from a deep curiosity about who and how we are as people: what connects us, what moves us, what brings us closer together. The Enneagram is a dynamic, engaging, refreshingly nonjudgmental prism through which we can look at ourselves and each other. Mapping it onto Shakespeare’s plethora of exciting, complex humans was a joy from top to bottom.”

Jeremy Fiebig
(he/him) is Professor of Theatre at Fayetteville State University and Artistic Director/Master of Play/President at Sweet Tea Shakespeare. He holds the M.Litt and MFA from the Mary Baldwin College (now University)/American Shakespeare Center in Shakespeare and Performance with an emphasis in Directing. Fiebig works as director, producer, actor, and scholar, with his primary scholarly interest is in early modern staging practices and audiences. “I’m into the Enneagram because I think it’s a great tool for figuring out how your personality tends to move and shift given the circumstance. I like it because it is dynamic — even though you have a home base, there are reasons that you would adopt and identify with other numbers. I also like it because of the conversation it fosters about who we are in the inside versus who we perform for others.