Pride and Prejudice Characters
The main characters in Pride and Prejudice are Elizabeth Bennet, Fitzwilliam Darcy, Lydia Bennet, George Wickham, Mr. and Mrs. Bennet, Jane Bennet, and Charles Bingley.
- Elizabeth Bennet is the lively and quick-witted protagonist.
- Fitzwilliam Darcy is a wealthy and prideful man who falls in love with Elizabeth.
- Lydia Bennet is Elizabeth's headstrong and audacious younger sister.
- George Wickham is a greedy, duplicitous man who charms people with his handsome looks and fine manners.
- Mr. and Mrs. Bennet are Elizabeth's parents. They are mismatched in temperament.
- Jane Bennet is Elizabeth's beautiful and sweet-tempered older sister.
- Charles Bingley is Darcy's good friend and Jane's suitor.
Last Updated on February 25, 2021, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 381
Elizabeth Bennet, the heroine of Pride and Prejudice, is the second-eldest Bennet daughter. She is intelligent, spirited, and opinionated. Elizabeth is closest to her older sister, Jane, and serves as a foil to Jane’s innocent and trusting character. Upon Elizabeth’s and Mr. Darcy’s first meeting, he calls Elizabeth “tolerable . . . but not handsome enough to tempt me,” wounding her pride and spurring her prejudice against him. (Read our extended character analysis of Elizabeth Bennet.)
Fitzwilliam Darcy, or Mr. Darcy, is the shy, wealthy, and aristocratic landowner of Pemberley. He is a socially awkward character, which makes him initially come across as cold, haughty, and prideful. Mr. Darcy is judgmental towards those of a lower class than he is. When his good friend Mr. Bingley buys an estate in the countryside near Meryton, Mr. Darcy acts as though he can’t stand the local people; during a ball hosted by Mr. Bingley, Mr. Darcy claims “any savage can dance,” showing his contempt for the whole affair. (Read our extended character analysis of Mr. Darcy.)
Lydia Bennet, the youngest daughter of the Bennet family, is flighty and audacious. Lydia shows a general disregard for those around her and is often wasteful and silly. For most of the novel, Lydia runs about Meryton with Catherine (Kitty) Bennet, her closest sister, flirting with the militia men and creating a source of public shame for the Bennet family. Lydia’s character is reflective of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet’s many deficiencies in marriage and in parenting. However, she also acts as a catalyst for change within the novel. (Read our extended character analysis of Lydia Bennet.)
Mr. Wickham, a militia officer, is at first portrayed as charming and handsome. As the novel progresses, however, Mr. Wickham’s character is revealed to be manipulative and irresponsible; his goals are money and positive attention, and Wickham employs dastardly methods to try and attain them. As an antagonistic character, Mr. Wickham serves as the catalyst for Elizabeth Bennet’s increased prejudice against Mr. Darcy. (Read our extended character analysis of Mr. Wickham.)
In addition to the characters above, Austen's Pride and Prejudice includes many minor and supporting characters. For more information, read more about them on their own page.
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