Apr 22, 2022
a statue of Shakespeare

…That is the question!  

This week, we at DISCsimple are honouring the birthday of William Shakespeare.  

We all know Shakespeare as a brilliant playwright, whether we studied him in school or have seen a live performance, Shakespeare is a huge influence on the arts industry. His 38 plays still get performed today and London’s Globe Theatre in particular, is dedicated to showcasing his work.  

But why do we love Shakespeare? 

Not only was he an excellent writer, but he understood human behaviour and incorporated each behavioural style in his plays. Whether one of his comedy, tragedy, or historical plays, you can identify characters of each DISC style. 

Dominant, Doers 

These characters are fast-paced, task-focused.  

Some examples of Shakespeare’s most famous D styles include: 

Tybalt – from Romeo and Juliet – Juliet’s cousin who attempts to kill Romeo after he sneaks into a Capulet party. He takes charge and leads the Capulets into a fight. He believes he will win and is focused on his goal.  

Macbeth – a brave warrior and leader who will do anything to achieve his goal of becoming King. He is ambitious and even though he knows that he will face obstacles he is determined to get around them in whatever way he can.  

Shylock – from The Merchant of Venice – a Jewish moneylender who often lends money but also charges a high rate of interest. He is a clever and stubborn character who is determined to get what he has been promised (even when it is a pound of flesh). He always tries to achieve the highest result possible and earn as much money as he can.


The fast-paced, people-focused characters. 

These characters can be found throughout Shakespeare’s plays, often in his comedies but not always. 

Benedick – from Much Ado About Nothing – is depicted as lighthearted and carefree often seen bantering and having a laugh with other characters. Benedick is quick-witted and loves to talk. He is also a very playful character and constantly teases Beatrice (another I) even once they have agreed to marry each other. 

Mercutio – from Romeo and Juliet – a well-loved and loyal character who often focuses on the positives. He is a good friend and to distract Romeo from his depression suggests that they gate crash the Capulet’s party and have fun. He loves to have a good time and a laugh even in his final moments. 

Puck – from A Midsummers Night’s Dream – one of Shakespeare’s most well-known characters, often seen as a trickster and jester. Puck loves to have fun and is mischievous in his jokes, however, he also apologises when he takes things too far and attempts to make up for what he has done, showing his good nature. 


Steady-paced, people-focused characters. 

Antonio – from The Merchant of Venice – an extremely loyal friend who gives his friend Bassanio 3000 ducats by promising a pound of his own flesh to Shylock. He puts his own life on the line to help out his friend without thinking twice. Even when it comes to paying his debt, Antonio does not fight or complain but accepts that he made a deal and will accept what is coming.  

Father Lawrence – from Romeo and Juliet – he helps the lovers to marry and conceal their relationship and even tries to assist in their running away together. He cares very much for both Romeo and Juliet and does what he can to help them be together. 

Conscientious, Considerers 

Shakespeare’s steady-paced, task-focused characters. 

Othello – an extremely intelligent military man who is also socially insecure. Although he is considered an outsider, he is integral to society and uses his military knowledge and experience to be placed in political command of Cyprus by the Venetian Government.  

Hamlet – there is far more to Hamlet than meets the eye and he keeps his cards very close to his chest. An extremely introspective character, Hamlet is drawn to difficult and unanswerable questions. He contemplates life and death and uses his intelligence to prove his uncle’s guilt and soon becomes fixated on achieving this goal no matter what it takes or how long.   

Shakespeare’s understanding of different behavioural styles is evident in all of his plays, not only in the examples I have listed, and it just goes to show that the answer to the question: 

To DISC or not to DISC? 

Is always to DISC!

Keeping things simple in a complicated world.

To learn more about the DISC tool and how you can learn to identify different DISC styles. Come along to one of our free lunchtime sessions. They are full of powerful insight into the world of Everything DiSC® (part of the Wiley group) and in just 30 minutes you will learn something! We run a learning session every Monday and a Pro session for professionals already working with DISC every other Thursday.

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This blog was written by the immensely talented Joe (blogs) Quintana. Connect with him on LinkedIn