Illustration of Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy with neutral expressions on their faces

Pride and Prejudice

by Jane Austen

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In Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, who are the round, flat, static, and dynamic characters?

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Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet are both round and dynamic characters. Indeed, the novel is largely about how they both change. When Mr. Darcy first proposes to Elizabeth while she is staying at Hunsford Rectory, Elizabeth still thinks him capable of cheating Wickham of his inheritance, while Darcy complacently assumes that she will accept his proposal because it is a good match. It is clear at this point just how much they will have to learn about each other if they are actually to marry.

The comic characters, Mrs. Bennet, Mary Bennet, Mr. Collins, Sir William Lucas, and Lady Catherine de Bourgh are all flat and static. Indeed, much of the comedy derives from their stasis and flatness. Lady Catherine will still be asking imperious questions and declaring that do one appreciates music as much as she does at the end of the world, while Sir William tells everyone for the thousandth time about when he was presented at court. Mr. Collins is so perfectly static that he is unable to adapt himself to Elizabeth's refusal of his proposal and has to keep assuming that she means yes.

Most of the other characters are too minor to be anything other than flat and static. Mr. Bennet, however, shows some roundness in the form of introspection and some dynamism in his resolution to do better when he realizes the consequences of his own weakness and indolence. Jane Bennet, who is a major character, is portrayed as being so perfectly good-natured and kindly that there is no need for her to change or even to have more than this single characteristic. The same might be said for Mr. Bingley.

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The answer above gives a good overview of round, flat, static, and dynamic characters in Pride and Prejudice. The main characters who are both rounded and dynamic (meaning that they change) are Elizabeth and Darcy. While Elizabeth is often associated with prejudice because she develops a dislike for Darcy after overhearing him say she is not good looking enough to tempt him to dance, she also exhibits pride in her angry refusal of his marriage offer. Darcy, often associated with pride because of his high social status and reserved personality, also shows prejudice against Elizabeth's family. Both characters need to grow in wisdom and humility before they can marry the other. Mr. Bennet, a flat character, is dynamic because he learns to be less cynical and disengaged about his daughters' upbringings after Lydia elopes. Kitty, the second-to-youngest sister, is a flat character who begins to become steadier and less giddy at the end of the novel under the guidance of her older sisters. 

Charlotte, Elizabeth best friend, is a static but rounded character. She doesn't change in her outlook towards marriage—to her it is primarily a pragmatic partnership from start to finish, and as she tells Elizabeth, she doesn't look for romance. She marries the ridiculous Mr. Collins because he has income and status. While she doesn't change in her marriage outlook, she becomes more rounded as the novel progresses: we understand her more fully when Elizabeth goes to visit her after her marriage, and we learn to be more sympathetic towards her as we understand how thoughtfully she manages her life and household. 

Mrs. Bennet is probably the novel's quintessential flat, static character. Her one thought, start to finish, is getting her daughters married and that goal, and her pride in achieving it, never wavers. Mr. Collins is another static character who remains a shallow sycophant from his first entrance in the novel to his last utterance. 

Positive static characters include the Gardiners, the Bennet sisters' aunt and uncle, who act as stable parent substitutes, especially to Jane and Elizabeth, in contrast to the inadequate Mr. and Mrs. Bennet.

 Pride and Prejudice has a large cast of characters, but the primary focus is on the growth in Darcy and Elizabeth, with most of the other characters less prone to change. 

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A static character is a minor character that does not undergo any character development. Examples of static characters in Pride and Prejudice are: all three of the younger sisters, Mrs. Bennet, Charlotte, Mr. Collins, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, Ann de Bourgh, and  Bingley's sisters.

However, a static character can either be round or flat. A flat character is character who is not very rich in personality. A round character, like a real person, has a much more complicated personality. Very few of Austen's characters are flat. The only real static flat characters are Lydia, and Ann de Bourgh. Lydia is flat because all she is is a silly, flirtatious girl who does not have her head on straight. Ann de Bourgh is flat because we never actually learn anything about her accept that her health is poor and that she is allegedly betrothed to Darcy. We never actually hear her speak.

A dynamic character is a major character that undergoes changes. Examples of those are Elizabeth, Jane, Darcy, Bingley, and Mr. Bennet. Elizabeth and Darcy of course learn more about their personal character traits and make changes accordingly. Jane is an example of a character who undergoes emotional changes throughout the story. At the beginning of the book, she is happy, in love, and confident. Then her lover is turned against her and she is heartbroken. Finally, she is reunited and very happy because not only does she get to marry a man she loves, she is helping her family with her fortune. Bingley undergoes emotional changes very similar to Jane's, the only difference is that his emotional changes are caused by other people's persuasion. Mr. Bennet undergoes moral changes, for, due to Lydia's behavior, he realizes just how little he has acted with principles, how little he has taught his family principles, and how much he has let his family get out of control.

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