MBTI: Can Caesar Be Typed?


*Updated 8/11/2015- Scroll to the bottom!*

If you’re anything like me, 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes was unexpectedly pretty friggin’ good. I was expecting to see a mess of a film created to cash in on an old property but was pleasantly surprised. It has it’s share of issues sure, but overall I think we got more than we expected.

I know you’ve normally come to expect nothing but literary gold from me so I want to keep that tradition alive- Can this fictional ape be given a personality from a system many say doesn’t even work? Let’s find out.

Love the look. What's the name of your band?

Love the look. What’s the name of your band?

The idea behind MBTI is that all personalities in the world, no matter the origin or environment, can be assigned one of sixteen personalities. Many say that this works but fictional characters can’t be typed because they’re figments of someone’s imagination put onto paper.

It should be clear at this point that I don’t agree with the last bit because otherwise, I’m putting on a pretty convincing and time-wasting, pointless scam. Of course fictional characters can be typed, they’re simply stereotypes of ourselves. No matter how deeply written, they’ll still be hollow in comparison to the real people that can’t get enough of them.

And while we can jokingly assign personalities to just about anything on this planet, can an animal, much less an animal with a personality, be typed? It’s one thing to say that your dog is an ESFJ because she’s an excitable, loyal and loving Golden Retriever, or even that your recliner is an ISFP because it’s comfortable and you get high while watching TV on it- but what about Caesar of Rise of the Planet of the Apes? This is what I’m here for, to ask the tough questions.

"To ME, my apes!"

“To ME, my apes!”

Caesar is shown from the beginning to be intelligent for a human child even more than just “smart for an animal.” Later on he develops a personality similar to that of any animal you might raise yourself. But when he’s really leveled at being imprisoned by his owner Will (James Franco), he begins to hatch a plan to not only escape but create his own simian paradise. How much of Caesar’s plan was an actual plan and how much of it worked out the way it did by chance?

If you’ve read this far and are interested in an answer yourself, the questions to ask is whether or not something can have a personality and still be typed? What about a person’s personality allows you to make a decision on If you agree that anyone with a rational mind can be typed, are there exceptions and is Caesar that?

Again, the obvious answer is no because he’s a fictional ape, though he does have a personality and you could argue much more of one than many lead action heroes. So why is it that those poorly-written chauvinist bungholes can be given a personality type even as a stereotype but Caesar (real or not) can’t?

Typed from left to right: ST. Boom. Done.

Typed from left to right: ST. Boom. Done.

We can type talking Disney animals and certainly the apes of all the other Planet of the Apes movies but that’s in part due to their ability to speak and much our personality comes out in what we say, how we say it, and why. But even without speaking (Not much, anyway) comes out in his actions. It’s clear he cares about the other apes he’s been caged with and that he loves his owner, especially when he makes the decision to stay with the others. But at what point does his intellect decide his actions and which ones are simply a product of his animal instincts?

Because isn’t that only natural, to assume that if an animal were any more intelligent than it is, it would still have the same urges it normally had but just go about them in a more efficient way? Damn, I’m deep.

So what are Caesar’s motivations? To rally his hominoid brethren and make a home for themselves away from the humans that mistreat them. As Caesar puts it in sign language to Maurice the Orangutan (They all have names!), “Apes alone weak. Apes together strong.”

That awkward moment when you experimental ape you've been raising gets out and begins a revolution, killing the majority of the population in the progress.

That awkward moment when the experimental ape you’ve been secretly raising gets out and begins a revolution, killing the majority of the population in the progress.

At different times, Caesar is shown to kill, though he is not without mercy, and feel genuine sympathy for the other apes; as opposed to a revolutionary like Magneto that makes it clear absolute power is his real goal. Oh, did you think he cared about his fellow mutant? You must only be watching the movies. Ohhhhh-

An NF seems likely for Caesar, if not a bit stereotypical. But to refuse your old, easier life in turn for a more difficult yet more meaningful life in the pursuit of bettering your race has traces of Idealist to it. ENFP seems the least likely of the four though I wouldn’t count anything out entirely, other groups included.

At this point I don’t feel confident in typing Caesar officially. Although what we saw in Rise gave us indication that he has a personality, the upcoming sequel, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes will hopefully give us more definition to it. Y’know, after he, dare I say, evolves.

But that face just says "Rational."

But that face just says “Rational!”

Verdict: Inconclusive!

*As of one year since writing this, I’ve since begun to see Caesar as INFJ, but I’d feel the need to look into a bit more before stating it officially.

3 Responses to “MBTI: Can Caesar Be Typed?”

  1. I think he is ENTJ. after I watched the dawn of the planet of the apes, I didn’t change my mind.. ENTJ

  2. Sairor Says:

    No, ENTJ or ESTJ would be Koba. He’s way more brash and power-obsessed.

    Cesar on the other irradiates this aura of care, not only for his fellow ape but for humans too. He seems like a very holistic kind of person/ape; he doesn’t suffer from tunnel-vision like NTJs.

    This, combined with his tendency to make elaborate plans, and be quiet and reflective makes me think he might be an INFJ.

    But lets wait for the third movie to see how he behaves during war.


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