What are the positive and negative traits of Wickham from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice?

Expert Answers
Tamara K. H. eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Wickham's good points are that, because he was raised at Pemberley, he has just as much of a gentlemanly air as Darcy. He is also very handsome, tall, and very polite. He converses very easily and lacks arrogance. Elizabeth was easily beguiled by him because he was so friendly and easy to talk to, unlike Darcy, who is reserved and has a sense of pride that makes him seem arrogant.

Wickham's negative traits are that he is manipulative and a liar. At supper at the Philipses, Wickham engages Elizabeth in conversation because she is attractive and he suspects she is rich. Probably having seen her take note of how Wickham and Darcy received each other when they met on the street in Meryton, he begins a conversation about Darcy. He feeds her plenty of lies about how he was mistreated by Darcy, when the truth was that he had tried to take advantage of Darcy's sister.

Another negative trait is that Wickham is mercenary. Everything he does, he does to try and capture a rich wife for himself. He flirts with Elizabeth when he first thinks she is rich, then switches to Miss King when she inherits £10,000 from her grandfather, he attempted to seduce Miss Darcy for her fortune, and even though he let Lydia run off with him, he had no intention of marrying her because he had still hoped to find a wealthy wife. He is bribed to marry Lydia by Darcy.

priyaansh | Student

Wickham is the most polished and handsome of the anti heroes.he has no sense of honour but possess exteremly winning manners.That wickham should have been able to take in Elizabeth, who is usually shrewd in the judgement of persons, speaks volumes about his capacity to ingratiate himself with others.To Wickham belongs the credit or discredit of proving that Elizabeth too is carried away by feelings.his bad traits can be clearly seen.

Mr. darcy's first apperance is unfavourable.he seems to be proud and does not have winning manners like those of wickham.brought up in an atmosphere of wealth and strict decorum,he considered everyone in the village vulgar and beneath his notice.Elizabeth like others,puts him down as one of the proudest and most disagreeable of men.Still his insistence on form does not blind him to more essential qualities.he is a good brother a good friend and of course a good person.

Both are foils to each other.one is must to understand the character of the other.Mr. Darcy is necessary to know the falsity of Wickham.Without him it was not possible for Elizabeth to know about the true character of Wickham.And the character of wickham proves the goodness of Darcy.

Read the study guide:
Pride and Prejudice

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question