I would love to think Beethoven is an INFJ, but for all my experience with studying his life and music, i have to say that he isn't. He is one of my favorite composers and i have analyzed more scores of his than i can count (i have a doctorate in music) He does seem Ni dominant, but the man had close to zero Fe. He offended people a lot, and not because he was angry, but just had no patience for human nonsense. The emotional world is also very deeply Fi imo. I have to stand by my original position that he is an INTJ. People often underestimate just how passionate an INTJ can be.
I quite agree with you. In private especially, we can be quite passionate. I just this hour read the transcript of the letter to his immortal beloved, and it was definitely something I could have written. I then watched an excerpt of the movie where he plays Moonlight Sonata with his ear on the pianoforte, and now I am hooked! I must see the film!
I did a search to see if anyone had posted about his type... and here I am.
I didn't know you had a doctorate in music, Toonia! That's awesome! Do you teach?
Do you have a theory as to who "Immortal Beloved" was?
INTJ seems like it would be a possibility, but still...why do many here all of a sudden assume that it matches him better than INFJ? On multiple MBTI websites I've seen him listed as INFJ, but never INTJ. What exactly makes him "stick out" as one? Perhaps "immortal beloved" letters were all the rage back in his day, but it otherwise doesn't appear very INTJ to write one.
My experience with my INTJ's says that they love a good debate, but maybe that's just the ones I know. I don't know anything about Beethoven really, but the letter sounds more F than T to me - it's quite full of emotional words.
I don't think he was a T. Aggressiveness, moodiness, unsociability etc. hardly seem like a good enough reason to indicate T over F in my opinion.
One thing's for certain, he had A LOT of trouble relating to people and getting along with them. And that's another thing that leads to many F's getting mistyped as T's. An insecure, unhealthy F could be every bit as reclusive and socially awkward as one might expect a T to be. That applies to INFJ's especially who can be so, for lack of a word, weird and impossible to understand that they can be near impossible to get along with.
I have 120+ pages of letters written by Beethoven sitting in front of me as I write this, and he Fe's constantly in them. Here's just a taste of the kind of emoting he constantly does:
"So now I want no more of his
friendship! I have only found two friends in the world with whom I never
had a misunderstanding; but what men these were! One is dead, the other
still lives. Although for nearly six years past we have seen nothing of
each other, yet I know that I still hold the first place in his heart, as
he does in mine [see No. 12]. The true basis of friendship is to be found
in sympathy of heart and soul. I only wish you could have read the letter I
wrote to Breuning, and his to me. No! never can he be restored to his
former place in my heart. The man who could attribute to his friend so base
a mode of thinking, and could himself have recourse to so base a mode of
acting towards him, is no longer worthy of my friendship."
Another interesting thing about these letters written by Beethoven. I have a collection of them filling up 123 pages on Microsoft Word. I did a search of the whole document, showing that Beethoven used the word "heart" over 40 times in the collection of letters, and he also used the word "love" 47 times.
I'll check out "misery," too. That seems to be a word he uses quite a bit.
Beethoven was the first of the Romantics -- how much more NF can you get? The intensity of his passions is also very INFJ. The Romantic emphasis on the individual as the center of all expression, of all meaning, of all that is good and right -- again, this is the INFJ unshackled from all the constraints of society. The mathematical precision that frames the intense Romanticism of his music strikes me as the ultimate expression of INFJ-ness. The rebelliousness, the innovation, the refusal of the spirit to be broken -- he's the ultimate INFJ!
The mathematical precision that frames the intense Romanticism of his music
That makes sense. That's the thing about INFJ work I've seen. It's often the Ni+Fe combo creating some kind of romantic effect. In some cases, though, an INFJ with a well-developed tertiary Ti can underly that romanticism with technical mastery every bit as precise as what you often see dominating INTJ work.
Beethoven's music was much more F than T, though. It was more about creating beauty and emotionally stimulating tunes as opposed to the more intellectualized music of Bach.