“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings” (Julius Caesar, Act 1, Scene 3). Believers in astrology would argue that the stars are what makes us ourselves, precisely because we are underlings. If you’ve always wondered which Shakespeare character best reflects your horoscope, look no further! Read on to find out which Shakespeare character you are based on your zodiac sign.
You’re an Aries. You’re determined and courageous, like the respected military general Othello. You like to act quickly and decisively, making you a good leader–like Othello, you’re the first and best at what you do. Aries are known for their honesty and forthrightness, just as Othello possesses a “free and open nature” and woos everyone from his wife, to the Venitian royalty, to the audience with his eloquent speeches.
However, as an Aries, you also have a tendency to anger and impulsivity, sometimes acting without thinking. While Othello’s actions at the end of the play are a result of Iago’s manipulation, a seizure, and even poison in some productions, the villain is able to play on Othello’s passionate nature and impatience, provoking an aggression that Aries know all too well in themselves.
Hugh Quarshie as Othello in the RSC’s 2015 Othello, dir. Iqbal Khan
Stubborn and honest to a fault, you would throw away your share of the kingdom rather than lie or betray your principles. Compromise doesn’t exist in your vocabulary any more than fancy falsehoods do. Cordelia’s speech sounds like the logic of a sensible, practical Taurus: “I love you according to my bond, no more, no less….sure I shall not marry as my sisters have, to love my father all.”
Tauruses are also loyal, patient, and devoted. The same steadiness that prevents you from lying to bolster your dad’s ego also would lead you to care for him even after everything he put you through. You’re reliable and hardworking, the kind of person to single-handedly lead an army to reconquer your homeland in a time of need.
Shakespeare was obsessed with twins–probably because he had a pair of his own, Hamnet and Judith ( Hamnet tragically died at the age of eleven). Born under the sign of the Twins, Geminis will love the abundance of twin shenanigans in Shakespeare’s comedies, but they’ll especially relate to Viola, the cross-dressing heroine of Twelfth Night.
Viola responds to being shipwrecked in a foreign land with Gemini adaptability, changing her appearance and identity to find employment. She’s almost literally two-faced, lady Viola one minute, serving boy Cesario the next. Both personalities have a Gemini’s witty tongue and curious mind, as and her gentleness makes her comically disastrous in a fight. She never really feels complete until she is reunited with her other half, an empty feeling many Geminis will find relatable.
Sentimental Cancers probably loved reading Romeo & Juliet in freshman English class. Finally, a character whose emotions are as powerful and expansive as yours! Juliet gets a lot of bad press (she just met him! She’s too young to be in love! If x, y, or z would have happened, they could have lived!) but honestly, when you’re thirteen, everything feels like a life-changing event. This is especially true for sensitive Cancers, who feel pain–their own and others’–more deeply than other signs.
What people often overlook about Juliet is just how smart she is. She’s got a Cancer’s lively imagination, spitting the most sophisticated verses in the entire play. Her lines are some of the most iconic Shakespeare ever wrote, which speaks to the power that Cancers hold when they are in tune with their inner depths. You’re brilliant, but you just might throw it all away for someone you met three days ago. Cancers, your emotions are your greatest strength, as well as your greatest weakness. You might have a love tso profound it ends a generational feud and brings peace to your city, but you also just might throw it all away for a guy you met three days ago.
Leo: Prince Hal/Henry V
When we first meet Prince Hal in Henry IV Part I, he’s a Leo at his worst: arrogant, self-centered, and lazy, making fun of his dad in bars with his drunken friends. But by the time he’s giving his rousing St. Crispian’s Day speech in Henry V, he’s grown into a strong, responsible, awe-inspiring leader. That’s the power of Leos at their best. Your confidence and social dominance inspire loyalty in those around you, and your charisma makes following you a joy.
Leos are intensely social and very funny, as the fun-loving Prince Hal demonstrates soundly in Henry IV Part I. Your creativity allows you to see possibilities toward which to lead your followers–invading France, for example. You’re cheerful and generous, but as a responsible leader, you also have to make hard choices and sacrifice your own needs and wants for the sake of those in your care. If that means cutting off your best friend or losing sleep over your responsibilities, so be it: “uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.”
Virgo: King Ferdinand
It takes a special kind of person to vow to do nothing but study for three years with no contact with the outside world. And by “special kind of person,” I mean a Virgo. You’re hardworking and analytical, and you like structure in your daily life. You’ve got a big heart, although it may be closed to the outer world. When you do decide to open up, you’re an excellent communicator in both speech and writing. You’d fit right in in Love’s Labours Lost, a comedy all about language and communication.
Virgos are also very detail oriented–a trait that backfires for King Ferdinand, who accidentally flirts with the wrong lady because he’s identified her by her jewelry. When you want something, you don’t run blindly after it; you formulate and execute a careful plan. Instead of telling your crush how you feel, you might instead dress up in a costume and do a Russian folk dance to impress her, and then flirt with her in disguise to test the waters. You’re loyal, too, enough to live as a hermit for a year to prove to your faithfulness to the person you love.
Justice-obsessed and conflict-averse, Libras will see themselves in Hamlet. Fair-minded Libras will not be content to take hearsay from another person (or ghost) as the basis for action. Libras are unusually diplomatic and will find ways to uncover the truth without direct confrontation. (Next time there’s drama in your friend group, maybe try staging a play that reenacts the scene and watch people’s reactions to figure out who’s in the wrong?) While at first Hamlet, known for his soliloquies and feigned madness, may not seem at all like the cooperative, social Libras, I say it’s Hamlet’s astute social intelligence that allows him to use his fake madness to disrupt social life at court so completely.
What makes Hamlet a real ringer for Libras is his indecisiveness. Libras hate decision making and confrontation and will go to great lengths to avoid both. Libras hate violence, but they hate injustice more. Once they do make up their minds, they’ll do whatever it takes to set things to right and make sure justice is served. When you’re faced with a tough decision and uncertain what to do, just remember the words of Polonius: “to thine own self be true.”
Scorpio: Lady Macbeth
This pick may seem a bit rude, given the association of Scorpios with violence and jealousy, but there’s so much more to Lady M and Scorpios both. The original no-holds-barred boss woman, Lady Macbeth is one of Shakespeare’s most iconic characters. She’s brave and fierce and hates passivity.
Like Scorpios, Lady Macbeth is a ruthless player who’s excellent at keeping secrets (except in her sleep, of course). You’re resourceful, willing to do what needs to be done. You do well in high-stress situations, like covering up for your coward husband when he starts screaming about ghosts in front of guests. Scorpios will see themselves in Lady Macbeth’s passion and leadership; her words in Act I are some of the most intense in the Shakespeare canon.
Saggitarius: Puck (Robin Goodfellow)
When Puck said, “I’ll put a girdle round the earth in forty minutes!”, Sagittariuses felt that. You value freedom above all else, just like this merry wanderer of the night. With your love of travel and the outdoors, you’d probably fit right in in the fairy court, which dances nightly in the wild places all around the world, from Athens to “the farthest steppe of India.” You “jest to [everyone] and make them smile” with your winning sense of humor.
Be careful, though–sometimes your tactlessness can make your jokes unintentionally cruel. You don’t always follow through on your promises, although sometimes that isn’t your fault! How were you supposed to know there would be TWO guys in Athenian garments running around the forest? In the end, though, your adventures usually turn out alright, and if they don’t, you can always write it off as a crazy dream.
There’s no one who better matches the independent spirit of Capricorns than Miss “Father, as it please me” Beatrice from Much Ado About Nothing. You’re disciplined and responsible, like the mature and self-ruled Beatrice. Your independent streak allows you to manage your personal and professional life without outside help. When the situation calls for it, you’re the first to make plans and take charge (although maybe demanding your s/o kill his best friend isn’t the EXACT course of action you would take).
Capricorns’ independence can sometimes blind them to new possibilities. You can become stubborn and refuse to change your way of thinking and acting, even when change could improve your life and make you happy. But if you listen to your heart and learn from your mistakes, like Capricorns do so well, you’ll find your happy ending and sigh no more.
You’re an Aquarius. You love hanging out with your friends, and your intellectual depths mean that sometimes lighthearted conversation turns into something much deeper than anyone bargained for. A really long joke about a fairy you saw in a dream might turn into some existential commentary that no one but you understands. Your progressive mind is always miles ahead of everyone around you, so you crave company to bounce your thoughts off of. Act 2, Scene 4 of Romeo & Juliet for the kind of intellectual banter Aquariuses crave (although you might need some footnotes to explain all the Elizabethan goose jokes.)
As much as you may be adaptable, an air sign flowing from thought to thought and situation to situation “more inconstant than the wind, who woos even now the frozen bosom of the north, and being angered puffs away thence.” Yet at the same time, you can also be temperamental and immoveable. You won’t back down from a fight; in fact, you might even start one. And as much as you love being the center of attention, actually expressing your emotions terrifies you. You might even make a pun out of your own death if given the chance.
Compassionate and trusting, Pisces will connect with Miranda from The Tempest. With your natural tendency toward solitude, you might not mind being trapped on an island with almost no human contact–or at least, you’d handle it better than the rest of us.
But just because you like your alone time, doesn’t mean you’re not a people person. In fact, you’re friendly and trusting by nature, so much so that if a hot stranger were to show up on your abandoned island, you might decide on the spot to marry him. What can we say? Pisces are romantics.
You’re gentle, intuitive, and wise beyond your years; all qualities that make Miranda such a loveable character.
Which Shakespeare character do you think best represents your astrological sign? Join the discussion in the comments below to find out what other readers think!
Featured Image: Danielle Brooks as Beatrice in Central Park’s 2019 Much Ado About Nothing, via nytimes.com.
A. A. Ford is a writer from St. Louis, Missouri. She is currently a student majoring in English and Theology at the University of Notre Dame. In addition to her articles for Society 19, Ford is known for her poetry and fiction, which can be found at https://aafordstories.wordpress.com/. In her free time, she loves directing stage theater, spending time with her friends and family, and trying her best to glorify God by her life.