Cognitive Types and the Authorship Question

The Theory of Cognitive Types &
An analysis of The Merchant of Venice

    The theory of Cognitive Types (or Character Types) offers a new paradigm by which the Shakespeare Authorship Question can be approached.  The theory holds that every person's thinking process is shaped by his Cognitive Type; and this cognitive pattern or Type is revealed in the way a person shapes his thoughts and, in terms of play writing, by the thinking pattern displayed by the play's main characters.  Thus, by looking at the Cognitive Type displayed by the main characters of a play, we may be able to determine the Cognitive Type or “mental pattern” of the play’s author.  Once we determine the Cognitive Type of the play's author we can see if this Type matches any of the known Types of the major Authorship Candidates.  There are 12 Cognitive Types; so, by this method, we can only "narrow down the field" to one in twelve.  However, this narrowing down may be conclusive if only the Type of one Authorship Candidate matches that of the play's author.

    Part One of this work explains the general principle of Cognitive Types, with a special emphasis on Type 3 (Mary Sidney) and Type 9 (William Shakspere of Stratford).  Part Two explores the way Type 3 is evidenced in the thinking patterns of the main characters of The Merchant of Venice; it demonstrates how all of the main characters of the play—Portia, Antonio, and Shylock—though having dissimilar backgrounds, and impelled by different forces, all display the same, Type-3 pattern of thinking.

    The Theory of Character Types (or Cognitive Types) was discovered and developed into a system by Alvaro Lopez-Watermann.  Details of his work was put forth in his unpublished book, Toward a Unified Theory of Inborn Personality, Vol. I-III.


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For a modern English version of The Merchant of Venice, with commentary, see: