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He's a classic 4, emotionally expressive, revealing, believing he was inherently inferior, but also believing he was above others, making things a tragedy for himself was easy. He's even stated this, he always made things sadder than they actually were.

Can someone explain to me why he's typed as a 5? 5's are cold, emotionally unexpressive, guarded, and their fear is being incompetent. Kurt's fears were not being himself and being unappreciated (heart type desire).
 

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He's a classic 4, emotionally expressive, revealing, believing he was inherently inferior, but also believing he was above others, making things a tragedy for himself was easy. He's even stated this, he always made things sadder than they actually were.

Can someone explain to me why he's typed as a 5? 5's are cold, emotionally unexpressive, guarded, and their fear is being incompetent. Kurt's fears were not being himself and being unappreciated (heart type desire).
Yes, I have been saying this over and over again, he's a straight-up 4! I don't even know why 5 would be considered for him because he's that 4.

Another 4 mistyped frequently as a 5, for reasons that are beyond me, is Vincent van Gogh.
 

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I know very little about the man so I have no opinion on his type except to acknowledge he certainly seems at first glance to be a 4. To help with the question about why people have typed him as a 5: I recall seeing part of an interview once where he described his favorite book, a book he couldn't stop rereading and carried it with him in his pocket. It's Perfume by Patrick Suskind. He described it as being about a guy who traveled far away from people, isolating himself bc he is disgusted by humans and wants to hide and stay away from them to which Cobain said he could relate. That seems 5-ish but the 5 influences that people see in him could be explained by a wing and/or tritype influence. He also mentioned how that book made him feel in the context of him rereading it which is a very 4 thing to do (he seemed to enjoy sitting in the emotion it made him feel). Perhaps he's a 4w5.

Kurt Cobain's Favourite Book & More | Are You Surprised? | Numéro Cinq
 

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Definitely a 4w5.

Perfume is an absolutely beautiful, gruesome book - and not a 5-style book at all. Very evocative, poetic prose throughout, and about brilliant moments of feeling so intense they cannot be contained. Further, Cobain's song about the book, "Scentless Apprentice", is poetic, abstract and bizarre, and taps into the "outcast" unhealthy 4 response to self-punishment, the idea of being broken at birth, and isolation due to being hyper sensitive to one's surroundings.

 

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Hard to tell, probably the only one who could really type Kurt Cobain was Kurt Cobain himself. He seems on the thin line between 4w5 and 5w4 for sure. But honestly, I've always seen much more 5 than 4 in him. I'm not a Nirvana expert, but from what I recall his lyrics (and his diary too, but I've read it once many years ago so I can't really take that in consideration) scream 5. There is practically no space for emotions (even metaphorical), it's all like big sensory chaotic-horror hallucination. They all have this "the world around me is rotting" quality, with grotesque-anatomical style flashes, in a much similiar way to David Cronenberg's first works, Nine Inch Nails, or Silent Hill, just to give you some examples.


She eyes me like a Pisces when I am weak
I've been locked inside your heart-shaped box for weeks
I've been drawn into your magnet tar-pit trap
I wish I could eat your Cancer when you turn black

Hey! Wait!
I've got a new complaint
Forever in debt to your priceless advice
Hey! Wait!
I've got a new complaint
Forever in debt to your priceless advice
Hey! Wait!
I've got a new complaint
Forever in debt to your priceless advice
Your advice

Meat-eating orchids forgive no one just yet
Cut myself on angel's hair and baby's breath
Broken hymen of your highness I'm left back
Throw down your umbilical noose so I can climb right back


This is a part of Heart Shaped Box, and all Kurt's song that I remember at the moment are in this style. Compare them to "4w5" Alice In Chains or The Cure. There is a striking difference. Even the songs that cover the same themes/atmospheres, with grotesque schizophrenic hallucinations, have a completely different feel ("Rotten Apple", "Lullaby").

5's are cold, emotionally unexpressive, guarded, and their fear is being incompetent.
I don't think that 5s are necessarily cold or unexpressive, maybe yes if they are on hypervigilant/on guard mode. I disagree on the basic fear of being incompetent, I think that the primal fear for 5s is invasion, or loss of control of own boundaries. 5s relational boundary, "non-attachment" (which doesn't mean having not close human relationships) is a way to protect the ego, "the stronghold". If someone is outside, they have control. If they create a (real) attachment, they let him in, losing control. If this someone gets lost or -that's the main point- betrays or turns against them somehow, 5s will see their stronghold fall down. Naranjo called the E5 distortion of the Sexual/Relational Instinct as "Trust": the impossible search for a "superhuman" being who would not ever possibly hurt them or disappoint them no matter what, to whom they would would feel safe giving and accepting complete love and being completely bonded, while leaving everyone else "outside" of the fortress.
 

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He definitely strikes me as a 4w5, no doubt about it. The guy was a totem pole for individualism and lived and breathed emotive principles. His suicide note says it all.
 

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There is practically no space for emotions (even metaphorical), it's all like big sensory chaotic-horror hallucination. They all have this "the world around me is rotting" quality, with grotesque-anatomical style flashes, in a much similiar way to David Cronenberg's first works, Nine Inch Nails, or Silent Hill, just to give you some examples.
I've never seen 5 talked about this way and I find it very interesting - that is the trait that draws me to Nirvana's music (and Cronenberg's works, among others) - makes one wonder! I really like your note on the Cure, although even they do invoke this quality in other works ("Pornography", both the title track and the album, would be a better example than "Lullaby", which is, essentially, a pop song and a child-friendly song... shivering holes aside) it's notable that the rot comes from the inside for Robert Smith (as it does for Reznor), while Cobain is barricading against it. In other songs he portrays his self as childlike and innocent, and inhabits that persona often. Interesting!
 

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Hard to tell, probably the only one who could really type Kurt Cobain was Kurt Cobain himself. He seems on the thin line between 4w5 and 5w4 for sure. But honestly, I've always seen much more 5 than 4 in him. I'm not a Nirvana expert, but from what I recall his lyrics (and his diary too, but I've read it once many years ago so I can't really take that in consideration) scream 5. There is practically no space for emotions (even metaphorical), it's all like big sensory chaotic-horror hallucination. They all have this "the world around me is rotting" quality, with grotesque-anatomical style flashes, in a much similiar way to David Cronenberg's first works, Nine Inch Nails, or Silent Hill, just to give you some examples.
Yeah, I agree Cronenberg is a 5, but really no space for his emotions? I feel like he was far more of a reactive, shame-based heart-type (damaged, of course) than a competency, fear-based head type. Certainly, the 5 bleeds into his work (as it's his wing), but reactivity and shame is leading the way.




The focus is also so much on his identity, which is the core preoccupation of a 4, and seeking to be loved for who one truly is, which again is a far more heart-based triad issue.






And being an outsider and identifying with one's difference from others...





This is one of the most 4 things I've ever heard, seriously. A 4 defending themselves by pointing out how ordinary everyone else is by comparison, despite one's difference:




They all have this "the world around me is rotting" quality, with grotesque-anatomical style flashes, in a much similiar way to David Cronenberg's first works, Nine Inch Nails, or Silent Hill, just to give you some examples.
From a 4w5 description at unhealthy stages: http://personalitycafe.com/type-4-forum-individualist/39234-enneatype-4-wings.html

Unbalanced 4/5 can move into the extreme withdrawal of depression, then, with still further disintegration, into a sort of dark impulsiveness. Deeply troubled by feelings of utter worthlessness and extreme isolation, unhealthy 4/5 may look for opportunities to perform degrading, menial tasks, rationalizing that such a fate is deserved. Servility and self-abasement provide a kind of barely-adequate, very temporary relief from the constant torment of self-hatred.

As life becomes less and less tolerable, suicide becomes increasingly likely, and if it happens it may be done in some unusually gruesome way. Extremely dark, horrifying inner imaginings are welcomed and encouraged. The whole world, both inner and outer, is seen as grotesquely diseased and utterly without redeeming qualities. 4/5 Hell is a place of unimaginable ugliness, populated by those deformed, psychotic monsters, the human race. Psychotic 4/5 revels in hopelessness and despair.
Even this:

Unhealthy persons of this subtype inhabit a particularly barren and terrifying inner world. There is a self-denying, even life-denying element of inner resistance to everything outside the self, throwing all of the Four's existential problems into sharper relief. Since Four is the fundamental personality type, fours with a Five-wing are assailed by self-doubt, depression, alienation from others, inhibitions in their work, and self-contempt. To the degree that the Five-wing plays a part in the overall personality, unhealthy fours of this subtype will also resist being helped by anyone, thus increasing their alienation from others. They also tend to project their fears into the environment, resulting in distorted thinking patters which may include elements of suspicion, paranoia, and phobias. Not only are people of this subtype subject to torment from their self-hatred, they can see very little that is positive outside themselves, and they become very pessimistic about the apparant meaninglessness of life. Of all the personality types, peopleof this subtype are potentially the most isolated from themselves and from reality. They are prone to the depressive forms of schizophrenia.
He was certainly not a healthy 4w5.





She eyes me like a Pisces when I am weak
I've been locked inside your heart-shaped box for weeks
I've been drawn into your magnet tar-pit trap
I wish I could eat your Cancer when you turn black

Hey! Wait!
I've got a new complaint
Forever in debt to your priceless advice
Hey! Wait!
I've got a new complaint
Forever in debt to your priceless advice
Hey! Wait!
I've got a new complaint
Forever in debt to your priceless advice
Your advice

Meat-eating orchids forgive no one just yet
Cut myself on angel's hair and baby's breath
Broken hymen of your highness I'm left back
Throw down your umbilical noose so I can climb right back


This is a part of Heart Shaped Box, and all Kurt's song that I remember at the moment are in this style. Compare them to "4w5" Alice In Chains or The Cure. There is a striking difference. Even the songs that cover the same themes/atmospheres, with grotesque schizophrenic hallucinations, have a completely different feel ("Rotten Apple", "Lullaby").
Not really seeing how that song is not 4? It could be 5 superficially, but I also don't see it ruling out 4. "Hey! Wait! I've got a new complaint." Sounds like a 4 to me haha. It also sounds like 4's disintegration to 2: "I've been drawn into your magnet tar-pit trap / I wish I could eat your Cancer when you turn black"

Then you have songs like this that are full of envy and shame. These are not the lyrics of a 5.


What else should I be
All apologies
What else could I say
Everyone is gay
What else could I write
I don't have the right
What else should I be
All apologies

In the sun
In the sun I feel as one
In the sun
In the sun
Married
Buried

I wish I was like you (i.e. envy)
Easily amused
Find my nest of salt
Everything's my fault
I take all the blame (Some authors would say this is how 4's introjection manifests too)
Aqua seafoam shame
Sunburn, freezer burn
Choking on the ashes of her enemy

In the sun
In the sun I feel as one
In the sun
In the sun
Married
Married
Married
Buried yeah yeah yeah

All in all is all we are
All in all is all we are
All in all is all we are
All in all is all we are

There's even an allusion to the idea of Holy Origin in this song and being at one/connected with your fellow human beings: "In the sun I feel as one.", "All in all is all we are."

And a few more excerpts, which are revealing:https://www.phrases.org.uk/quotes/last-words/kurt-cobain.html

I feel guilty beyond words about these things. For example when we're backstage and the lights go out and the manic roar of the crowd begins, it doesn't affect me the way in which it did for Freddie Mercury, who seem to love, relish in the love and adoration from the crowd, which is something I totally admire and envy.
Loss of childhood paradise, and the correspondent longing that comes from it:

I appreciate the fact that I and we have affected and entertained a lot of people. I must be one of those narcissists who only appreciate things when they're gone. I'm too sensitive. I need to be slightly numb in order to regain the enthusiasm I once had as a child.
I have it good, very good, and I'm grateful, but since the age of seven, I've become hateful towards all humans in general. Only because it seems so easy for people to get along and have empathy. Only because I love and feel sorry for people too much I guess.
Naranjo on 4s:
Indeed, later psychoanalysis has emphasized a frustration in maternal affection at a later stage, after the “rapprochement” stage of establishing an early bonding with her. This accounts for a “paradise lost” quality to the experience of type IV individuals. Unlike the apathetic type V individual, who does not know what he has missed, the type IV person remembers it very well at an emotional level—if not necessarily through reminiscences.
Sorry, but I'm truly baffled how people don't see how 4 he is (as opposed to 5). Not every 4 is going to be like The Cure, or write songs like them, but those core patterns of 4 (shame, reactivity, envy, longing, flawed self) are unmistakably there for him. He's a textbook example of a 4.
 

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Yeah, I agree Cronenberg is a 5, but really no space for his emotions? I feel like he was far more of a reactive, shame-based heart-type (damaged, of course) than a competency, fear-based head type. Certainly, the 5 bleeds into his work (as it's his wing), but reactivity and shame is leading the way.




The focus is also so much on his identity, which is the core preoccupation of a 4, and seeking to be loved for who one truly is, which again is a far more heart-based triad issue.






And being an outsider and identifying with one's difference from others...





This is one of the most 4 things I've ever heard, seriously. A 4 defending themselves by pointing out how ordinary everyone else is by comparison, despite one's difference:






From a 4w5 description at unhealthy stages: http://personalitycafe.com/type-4-forum-individualist/39234-enneatype-4-wings.html



Even this:



He was certainly not a healthy 4w5.







Not really seeing how that song is not 4? It could be 5 superficially, but I also don't see it ruling out 4. "Hey! Wait! I've got a new complaint." Sounds like a 4 to me haha. It also sounds like 4's disintegration to 2: "I've been drawn into your magnet tar-pit trap / I wish I could eat your Cancer when you turn black"

Then you have songs like this that are full of envy and shame. These are not the lyrics of a 5.


What else should I be
All apologies
What else could I say
Everyone is gay
What else could I write
I don't have the right
What else should I be
All apologies

In the sun
In the sun I feel as one
In the sun
In the sun
Married
Buried

I wish I was like you (i.e. envy)
Easily amused
Find my nest of salt
Everything's my fault
I take all the blame (Some authors would say this is how 4's introjection manifests too)
Aqua seafoam shame
Sunburn, freezer burn
Choking on the ashes of her enemy

In the sun
In the sun I feel as one
In the sun
In the sun
Married
Married
Married
Buried yeah yeah yeah

All in all is all we are
All in all is all we are
All in all is all we are
All in all is all we are

There's even an allusion to the idea of Holy Origin in this song and being at one/connected with your fellow human beings: "In the sun I feel as one.", "All in all is all we are."

And a few more excerpts, which are revealing:https://www.phrases.org.uk/quotes/last-words/kurt-cobain.html



Loss of childhood paradise, and the correspondent longing that comes from it:





Naranjo on 4s:


Sorry, but I'm truly baffled how people don't see how 4 he is (as opposed to 5). Not every 4 is going to be like The Cure, or write songs like them, but those core patterns of 4 (shame, reactivity, envy, longing, flawed self) are unmistakably there for him. He's a textbook example of a 4.

Wow, that's a lot of stuff! But somehow you missed what I was saying in my post. I didn't say "Cobain was definetely a 5". I said that I always saw him on the line between 4w5 and 5w4, but that his artistic work scream 5 toward every direction,without any doubt. You point out possible references to E4 and E2, but they're really stretched, I really can't see big focus on the core patterns of 4. You're taking in consideration just single key words to tie them to a type, instead of the whole vision behind: using the same approach, even Tony Soprano could be a 4. I just see scatteredness, alienation, hallucinations and a destroyed ego. Again, you really can find all the core patterns of E4 ("shame, reactivity, envy, longing, flawed self" and I would add melancholy) in Robert Smith's lyrics, you can also see the connection to E2. Why can't I be you, Just like heaven, Lovesong, Never Enough, Disintegration (this one is 4w5 as fuck): these scream 4 to me. Kurt Cobain works don't. Heck, even Peter Murphy's (who is really probably a 5w4) songs seem triple 4 compared to Cobain ones. I wouldn't use him as a textbook example.

I wanna answer also to your quotes about 4w5s, lost paradise and Naranjo, but now I gotta get to my bed because I'm fucking sleepy.
 

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Fwiw https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/misidentifying-4-and-5

"...there are as many Fives who are artists as Fours, although their styles are somewhat different. Fours are self-absorbed and emotionally volatile–they express their feelings one way or another, and need people to respond to them in an emotional way. Their artistic work tends to be autobiographical, based on their families, on relationships, past or unrequited, and on the content of their subjective experience. Fives may have intense feelings but share them with few people. Their feelings tend to fuel their thoughts and their imagination, leading them to more abstract or fantastic forms of creative expression. Their work is less autobiographical, and more often portrays their vision of reality. ("I paint what I see!") Fives tend to be more experimental and outlandish in their artwork. Although both types can explore personal darkness more thoroughly than most, Fours tend to focus on their disappointments in love and with their childhoods and their attendant pain. Fives tend to focus on inner emptiness and feelings of meaninglessness. Fives are more driven to penetrate the surface of things to understand, Fours to get in touch with feelings and cathartically express them. Compare Fours Ingmar Bergman and Anne Rice with Fives David Lynch and Clive Barker."
 

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I find it odd that people would say that haha. I would think people, even who are just getting into enni, would say he's a 4. He seems almost stereotypical 4.
 
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I find it odd that people would say that haha. I would think people, even who are just getting into enni, would say he's a 4. He seems almost stereotypical 4.
I agree with what you say: people who just got into the enneagram and are at the first levels are faster to associate persons to cores. But that's because their approach lacks any depth. The more you get into the enneagram and into human psychology, the more complexity you'll find, and you'll get much slower and cautios into typing someone, especially when it is about people you know in a really limited way and through distorted filters, like celebrities. There's something funny in how some people take a lot of time into trying to type theirselves, delving deeper trying to see all the dynamics, motivations, contradictions (a lot of people has gone through multiple re-typings because of that, and surely I will not blame them, because it's part of the process), but when it is about someone else they will go for a shallow "insta-type" mode.
Many times it is difficult to type even a fictional character, and a fictional character "it's all there". I'll do a "double quote":

“Compared to the dullest human being actually walking about on the face of the earth and casting his shadow there,” Hardy supposedly said, “the most brilliantly drawn character in a novel is but a bag of bones.”

Human hearts and minds are complex and so the enneagram, to a much minor extent. If I see someone giving different typings using some in-depth argumentations or insights, I don't see it as a sign of "rookiness" but as the opposite: it's a sign that they're trying to look at the moon instead of focusing on the finger, a deeper approach.

Then, back to the OP. The main question was not "was Kurt Cobain a type 4 or 5?". I can't answer that, I don't know. No one can answer that, only Kurt could. The question was "why do some people think that cobain was a 5" since some experienced authors (so not people who just got into the enneagram, @dulcinea) type him as a 5 while others as a 4. I gave my 2 cents, saying that I can definitely see what drove some of them to that conclusion. Is it odd? I don't know, but I like oddities. Damn, even Kurt Cobain was odd, his genuine oddity is one of the reasons that lead many people to love the guy.

And that's it.
 

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Agreeing with the above. We are talking about The Ennegram Instutute who has Cobain as a 5. Ross Hudson (founder/president and author) is no rookie. https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/type-5/

To my mind the question was more about explaining why e5 was a possibility. Especially since the OP has a very two dimensional view of e5s: "Can someone explain to me why he's typed as a 5? 5's are cold, emotionally unexpressive, guarded, and their fear is being incompetent." As if e5 = the SP variant only. As if a 'countertype' or e5 artists don't exist.

Sometimes people get mistyped. Sometimes it's the stereotypes that are the problem. Both should be checked.
 

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Didn't read any of you. Cobain is a 5 because of his entire sensitivity... over dealing with "life's issues". His were particularly social, as a slant, ergo there were a bunch of nihilistic tear-it-down mantras. He never "felt" over it, or became whimsy or waxed poetic about it.

He was a rather matter-of-fact kind of soul that was hyper-sensitive about normal stuff that we, as people, take for granted and experience all the time.

But he sat on the other side of that normalcy, made songs about it, and rather unceremoniously shot himself in the face.

yeah.. not feeling the 4 here. I still remember the first time I heard "smells like" on the radio.
 

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Agreeing with the above. We are talking about The Ennegram Instutute who has Cobain as a 5. Ross Hudson (founder/president and author) is no rookie. https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/type-5/
Just because they're an expert instead of a rookie doesn't mean they are right, and in this case, I cannot see any reason why they decided to type Kurt as a 5 instead of a 4. Kurt isn't the only mistyped 5, who's likely a 4 instead, on that list either. There are quite a few. Although I do like Riso-Hudson's content on the Enneagram, I honestly think it's sad that an Enneagram expert can't even identify one of the more obvious examples of a 4.

As far as I know, Riso-Hudson are the only Enneagram authors who type Kurt as a 5. Other Enneagram authors identify Kurt as a 4.

Tom Condon:

Famous Fours
Isabelle Allende, Herb Alpert, Photographer Diane Arbus, Painter Francis
Bacon, John Barrymore, Charles Baudelaire, Ingmar Bergman, Poet John
Berryman, Bjork, Cate Blanchett, Marlon Brando, Richard Brautigan, Jackson
Browne, Raymond Burr, Singer Kate Bush, Nicolas Cage, Maria Callas, Roseanne
Cash, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Prince Charles, Mary Higgins Clark, Eric
Clapton, Kurt Cobain, Paula Cole, Judy Collins, Cheryl Crow, Dalida, Dorothy
Dandridge, James Dean, Sandy Denny, Neil Diamond, Isak Dinesen, Novelist
Michael Dorris, David Duchovny, French novelist Marguerite Duras, Bob
Dylan, Melissa Etheridge, Fado music, Oriana Fallaci, the cultural aura of
France, Judy Garland, Allen Ginsburg, Martha Graham, Singer Nanci Gri"th,
Billie Holliday, Lena Horne, Janice Ian, Julio Iglesias
Real-Life Fours With a 5 Wing: Diane Arbus, Marlon Brando, Richard Brautigan, Jackson Browne, Kurt Cobain, Leonard Cohen, Isak Dinesen, Pink Floyd, Harvey Keitel, Philip Larkin, Thomas Merton, Sylvia Plath, Edgar Allen Poe, Arthur Rimbaud, Anne Sexton, James Taylor, Vincent van Gogh, Virginia Woolf, Neil Young.
Katherine Fauvre:

Famous 4s
Francis Bacon, John Barrymore, Ingmar Bergman, Peter Bogdanovich, Marlon Brando, Jackson Browne, Raymond Burr, Kate Bush, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Prince Charles, Eric Clapton, Kurt Cobain, Judy Collins, James Dean, Johnny Depp, Neil Diamond, Isak Dinesen, Bob Dylan, Judy Garland, Martha Graham, Billie Holliday, Lena Horne, Julio Iglesias, Jeremy Irons, Michael Jackson, Jewel, Angelina Jolie, Janis Joplin, Harvey Keitel, Charles Laughton, T. E. Lawrence, Vivien Leigh, Rod McKuen, Thomas Merton, Joni Mitchell, Jim Morrison, Morrissey, Edvard Munch, Liam Neeson, Stevie Nicks, Anais Nin, Nick Nolte, Laurence Olivier, Paris, Edith Piaf, Pink Floyd, Sylvia Plath, Edgar Allen Poe, Prince, Anne Rice, Percy Shelley, Simone Signoret, Paul Simon, Meryl Streep, James Taylor, Spencer Tracy, Vincent Van Gogh, Orson Welles, Tennessee Williams, Kate Winslet, Virginia Woolf.
To my mind the question was more about explaining why e5 was a possibility. Especially since the OP has a very two dimensional view of e5s: "Can someone explain to me why he's typed as a 5? 5's are cold, emotionally unexpressive, guarded, and their fear is being incompetent." As if e5 = the SP variant only. As if a 'countertype' or e5 artists don't exist.
If you're having to bring in the idea of a "counter-type" to type someone as a 5, as if to say, he's a different kind of 5, I think there's a problem. I'm not saying you're typing him as a 5, and don't think you suggested that, but I've seen this already with Kurt, where people will say, "He's a 5w4, but he has a really strong 4-fix...", and to me, it's completely missing the point when someone says something like that, when you have to justify a typing with fixes or countertypes. If you want a 5w4 artist, look at Tool.

Fwiw https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/misidentifying-4-and-5

"...there are as many Fives who are artists as Fours, although their styles are somewhat different. Fours are self-absorbed and emotionally volatile–they express their feelings one way or another, and need people to respond to them in an emotional way. Their artistic work tends to be autobiographical, based on their families, on relationships, past or unrequited, and on the content of their subjective experience. Fives may have intense feelings but share them with few people. Their feelings tend to fuel their thoughts and their imagination, leading them to more abstract or fantastic forms of creative expression. Their work is less autobiographical, and more often portrays their vision of reality. ("I paint what I see!") Fives tend to be more experimental and outlandish in their artwork. Although both types can explore personal darkness more thoroughly than most, Fours tend to focus on their disappointments in love and with their childhoods and their attendant pain. Fives tend to focus on inner emptiness and feelings of meaninglessness. Fives are more driven to penetrate the surface of things to understand, Fours to get in touch with feelings and cathartically express them. Compare Fours Ingmar Bergman and Anne Rice with Fives David Lynch and Clive Barker."
Here's Kurt talking about his childhood and how that affected him, and you can also see that search for Origin too, with his family name and trip to Ireland. Listen to the envy (i.e the passion of 4) and shame in his words: "I couldn't face some of my friends at school. I desperately wanted to have the classic, typical family."


In my opinion, based on that paragraph, I would see Kurt as leaning more towards 4. I also don't think this below is exclusive to 5s, and think 4s can be just as preoccupied with this issue too, especially when unhealthy:

Although both types can explore personal darkness more thoroughly than most, Fours tend to focus on their disappointments in love and with their childhoods and their attendant pain. Fives tend to focus on inner emptiness and feelings of meaninglessness.
 
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If you're having to bring in the idea of a "counter-type" to type someone as a 5, as if to say, he's a different kind of 5, I think there's a problem. I'm not saying you're typing him as a 5, and don't think you suggested that, but I've seen this already with Kurt, where people will say, "He's a 5w4, but he has a really strong 4-fix...", and to me, it's completely missing the point when someone says something like that, when you have to justify a typing with fixes or countertypes. If you want a 5w4 artist, look at Tool.
I agree with you that there is a problem with typing if you can't type to the core (of that type). The point I was making is that a problem can arise when people have such a superficial view of a type that only a small minority of people of that type would fit by that (stereotypical) classification.

I experience this personally. More than a few people seem to have a view of 5s that equals what an unhealthy 5 SP is. I had a friend who wanted me to check his type bc people kept telling him he's a 4. He's a 1w9 145, classic core 1, he's just the countertype (sx) and therefore not the stereotypical 1. The problem wasn't his typing, it was people's narrow view.

Countertypes are a legitimate thing to look for in typing. 1s that show anger, 5s that are emotionally sensitive, 'shameless' 4s happen and if you don't understand this you may not be typing correctly. Watching out for countertypes (while still typing to the core of that type) is a very different thing to saying "He's a XwY with a really strong Y" -- I agree with you that this is justifying (if it's used as a basis for typing).

In other words, trying to make things fit where they shouldn't is bad but so is having the frame so small that things that should fit don't. Cobain may very well be a 4, as he appears to be to my uninformed eyes -- I have no opinion since I know so little about him, my issue is with the stereotyping.

To OPs "How can he be considered a 5!?" Easily is the answer. It's the second most obvious type to look at. Some people think it's the first. If that blows your mind, check your view on what a 5 is.
 

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I agree with you that there is a problem with typing if you can't type to the core (of that type). The point I was making is that a problem can arise when people have such a superficial view of a type that only a small minority of people of that type would fit by that (stereotypical) classification.

I experience this personally. More than a few people seem to have a view of 5s that equals what an unhealthy 5 SP is. I had a friend who wanted me to check his type bc people kept telling him he's a 4. He's a 1w9 145, classic core 1, he's just the countertype (sx) and therefore not the stereotypical 1. The problem wasn't his typing, it was people's narrow view.

Countertypes are a legitimate thing to look for in typing. 1s that show anger, 5s that are emotionally sensitive, 'shameless' 4s happen and if you don't understand this you may not be typing correctly. Watching out for countertypes (while still typing to the core of that type) is a very different thing to saying "He's a XwY with a really strong Y" -- I agree with you that this is justifying (if it's used as a basis for typing).

In other words, trying to make things fit where they shouldn't is bad but so is having the frame so small that things that should fit don't. Cobain may very well be a 4, as he appears to be to my uninformed eyes -- I have no opinion since I know so little about him, my issue is with the stereotyping.
Okay, and yes, I see your point. There are definitely variations among the types, and can see why that would apply in some cases. Naranjo has even said there's the most variation among subtypes of 4. I just don't see it happening here with Kurt. He isn't a counter-type 5. The easier answer, at least to me, is he's a 4.

To OPs "How can he be considered a 5!?" Easily is the answer. It's the second most obvious type to look at. Some people think it's the first. If that blows your mind, check your view on what a 5 is.
Well, right it is, as a wing, but it does blow my mind that anyone who knows anything about him would choose 5 over 4 for him in the first place. I don't think it necessarily has to be that one's view of 5 is off, people can just be bad at typing and come to the wrong conclusion, but can see why that would be upsetting for a 5 too, if it seems like one is only typing someone based on stereotypes. Though, I often think people assume this too much, that people are typing based on stereotypes, in cases of disagreements like this, when it isn't really the issue. I also don't think it's useful to type a person based on lyrics, as was done earlier, and say someone's lyrics are 5, because that's how you interpret them, therefore so is that person, which to me is just as much typing based on stereotypes. Lyrics can be open to a lot of interpretation, even though I do think aspects of one's type can come through in lyrics. To my mind, I don't see why a 4 couldn't write his lyrics. They're often very emotionally charged (i.e. that sense of catharsis, R-H mentioned for 4s) and personal, even though, he has said before that some of the lyrics, especially those from later albums, aren't all about him (See interview below at beginning). Still, I wouldn't take that to mean he couldn't be a 4, if a 4 isn't writing about themselves or their experience in every song. I actually see more 6 than 5 in him, and I would choose that as his head-fix actually, but I wouldn't consider 6 as a type for him. It would still make more sense to me than 5, though, because he's pretty clearly one of the types in the reactive triad, and even more than that, the frustration triad: reactive + frustration triad = 4

Also, see his answer at 1:10. He literally talks about envy, the passion/sin of 4s. Of course, envy is a human emotion, and any type can feel it, but I don't think that's a coincidence at all, and especially in the way that he talks about it, calling others blissfully happy simpletons, while he's too complicated/sensitive, and that he isn't able to enjoy life because of it: "I wish sometimes I could just enjoy the simple things in life." The 4's essence, that is, what is "unrealized" in place of the personality fixation, which is what we call our type, is Joy, but you see it when he talks about his child, and has in some sense led to integration: "It's made me a lot more positive. I have a goal now. I have a child to raise." It's all so telling of his type.


Type 4
Point four: the interiorized image point
Essence: Joy
Holy idea: Origin
Holy path: Equanimity
Chief feature: Melancholy
Passion: Envy
Idealization: ‘I am elite’
Talking style: Lamentation
Trap: Authenticity
Defense mechanism: Introjection
Avoidance: Feeling Lost
Dichotomy: Analytic/disoriented
We also see the trap of Authenticity here in his suicide note:

The fact is, I can't fool you, any one of you. It simply isn't fair to you or me. The worst crime I can think of would be to rip people off by faking it and pretending as if I'm having 100% fun. Sometimes I feel as if I should have a punch-in time clock before I walk out on stage. I've tried everything within my power to appreciate it (and I do,God, believe me I do, but it's not enough). I appreciate the fact that I and we have affected and entertained a lot of people. It must be one of those narcissists who only appreciate things when they're gone. I'm too sensitive. I need to be slightly numb in order to regain the enthusiasms I once had as a child.
As well as passion of envy again, as I mentioned earlier:

For example when we're back stage and the lights go out and the manic roar of the crowds begins., it doesn't affect me the way in which it did for Freddie Mercury, who seemed to love, relish in the the love and adoration from the crowd which is something I totally admire and envy.
 
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