Sorting Hat Sunday: Shakespeare

This is the last week of Shakespeare Sorting Hat Saturdays (or, Sundays. Sorry about that). Today, instead of doing all the characters from a particular play, I’m sorting a few characters from several plays.

Prospero (The Tempest): Slytherin. It would be easy to call him a Ravenclaw, because he’s basically the archetypal wise old sorcerer. However, he’s not just wise; he’s cunning. He uses his powers and his insights into the people around him to his own advantage and spends the play manipulating the other characters like puppets on strings. He’s not afraid to hold his power over others (Ariel, Caliban), or to keep his true agenda secret even from his daughter, the one person he seems to love most. In the end, his aims are good ones. He forgives his enemies and reconciles the two families. However, his methods are far more Slytherin than Ravenclaw.

King Henry V: Gryffindor/Slytherin. As easy as it would be to put Prospero in Ravenclaw, it would be even easier to make Henry a Gryffindor. And it’s true that he’s very brave. However, he knows how to speak with charisma and win people over, how to make ruthless decisions, and how to move men and armies around like pieces on a chess board. Above all, he craves power. I think he might choose Gryffindor, but there’s a Slytherin side to him.

Troilus & Cressida: Gryffindor & Slytherin. The tragedy of the play is that of an idealistic, passion-driven Gryffindor in love with a cunning, pragmatic Slytherin. He promises undying love and seems to think he can win the war and win her back, but she’s quick to move on. With no expectation that their story can end well, she accepts another man’s courtship. Their priorities are in two different places: she puts herself first and has no room for sentiment, while he remains idealistic until those ideals are crushed.

Rosalind (As You Like It): Gryffindor. Bold, daring, and fearless, Rosalind is one of Shakespeare’s most resourceful and capable female characters. She dominates the play with her independence and refusal to give up. Even when her life is turned upside down, she picks up the pieces and heads off into the forest to start a new life of adventure, only her cousin and the court jester at her side.

Celia (As You Like It): Hufflepuff. With a more subdued personality than Rosalind, Celia is characterized by her fierce loyalty. When she’s forced to choose between staying in her father’s court and going into exile with Rosalind, she chooses to stand by her cousin, despite getting nothing for herself out of it. That’s a very Hufflepuff move.

The Taming of the Shrew: Slytherin. Yes, every single character. Katherina is a Slytherin. Petruchio is a Slytherin. Bianca, the sweet younger sister? That probably depends on your interpretation, but I see her as a Slytherin who sees how badly people react to Katherina’s “shrewish” disposition and consciously presents herself as the opposite.


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