Tony Soprano is a sociopath. We know this because his psychiatrist Dr. Jennifer Melfi diagnosed him as one.
In fact, at the end of the series, this is the main reason why Dr. Melfi decides to cut Tony loose.
Melfi does this right after she reads up on a study about how sociopaths take advantage of talk therapy by using it to “sharpen” their manipulation skills.
In other words, she discovers that her therapy sessions will not help Tony.
Instead, they will only make him worse.
Is Tony Soprano a sociopath?
If you read up on the traits of a sociopath, then you will find that there are seven key traits.
To be diagnosed as a sociopath, a person must have at least three of these traits.
However, Tony Soprano matches pretty much all of them to some degree.
- Tony consistently breaks the law. He also has no qualms about overstepping social boundaries.
- Tony Soprano lies, manipulates and uses others for his own personal gain.
- He is a very impulsive person. In other words, he will often act without thinking about the consequences.
- Throughout the show, Tony assaults dozens of people. In some cases, he lashes out and uses physical force even when the other person does not deserve it. For example, he beats up his own driver just to make a point about his dominance and feel more manly.
- On a number of occasions, he acts without thinking about his own safety. He also doesn’t really care about the safety of others.
- Tony often fails to live up to his responsibilities and commitments. For example, he fails to show up for a scheduled appointment with Dr. Melfi and then becomes hostile when she says that she will be charging him for it.
- Tony lacks remorse. He cheats on Carmela multiple times without a second thought. After murdering his own nephew, Christopher Moltisanti, he displays no visible signs of guilt or remorse.
He also shows other symptoms of ASPD.
- He finds it difficult to maintain a positive relationship with the people around him.
- Tony is controlling and intimidating.
- Tony is stubborn with his opinions. It is clear that he feels superior to everyone else and that he believes he is always right.
- His entire career revolves around committing criminal acts.
- He is charming and superficial.
As you can see, Tony Soprano is the quintessential sociopath.
However, this should not come as a surprise. It is extremely likely that the show’s writers researched sociopath and then modeled parts of Tony’s character on it.