Mr. Darcy has a noble though reticent character. He is generous and compassionate though only those who know him are privileged to see this side of him. He has the rare ability to see through some else's eyes (albeit only when their view is forced upon him as Elizabeth's was) and change his flawed perceptions and behaviors. He is trusted and depended upon by his friends and family. He has a deep and strong capacity for love and goodness though he has small tolerance for foolishness and vanity.
Wickham, on the other hand, is a manipulator who seeks only hi own advantage even at the risk of the well-being and safety of others. He is selfish and greedy though he disguises this under deceptive smooth flattery. He has only one view of life and that his own, which is focused upon gain and wealth. He has no ability to understand or care about his flawed perceptions and behaviors and certainly no interest in changing them. He is distrusted by everyone who has known him and in every town that has extended him welcome--he repays welcome with unpaid debts.
Wickham is a very handsome, well-mannered man who charms people with his smooth talking.
- He uses these assets to lie to people and deceive them (including Elizabeth).
- He grew up with Darcy.
- Wickham's a selfish layabout who, after spending a lot of money given to him by Darcy, tries to elope with Darcy's 15-year-old sister, Georgiana, to get more money.
- He successfully elopes with Lydia Bennett (only 16), again to get money.
- Wickham seems to have no feelings for anyone but himself (this includes Lydia, who becomes his wife).
- He can be seen as the opposite of Darcy.
He's rich, powerful and from a very well-respected family.
He can be aloof and superior, easily offending people.
The offence Darcy often causes to others isn't always intentional. He's naturally shy and reserved, which is mistaken for arrogance.
Privately, he's loyal and kind (he treats his tenants and servants well).
Darcy is very proud.
He can be generous with money and in spirit (resolving the Wickham/Lydia situation).
He's very well mannered and acts like a gentleman on almost every occasion.
- He loves Elizabeth deeply, but struggles with his pride and prejudices to admit the fact and act on it.
- Darcy is the romantic hero of the novel.