Pride and Prejudice | Study Guide

Jane Austen

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Characters

Professor Bradley Greenburg of Northeastern Illinois University explains the main characters in Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice.

Pride and Prejudice | Characters

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CharacterDescriptionTraits
Elizabeth BennetElizabeth, also known as Lizzy, is the second oldest of the five Bennet sisters and a keen observer of the personalities that interact in her social circle. Read Morewitty, lively, confident
Fitzwilliam DarcyDarcy, or Mr. Darcy, is a wealthy and proud man who initially seems aloof and snobbish but is ultimately proven to be an honorable and generous person. Read Moreproud, sincere
Jane BennetJane Bennet, Elizabeth's confidante, is the eldest and loveliest of the five Bennet girls and also the most kind-hearted and trusting. Read Moregentle, trusting
Mr. BennetMr. Bennet is a member of the lesser gentry. He has a biting wit and little interest in the emotional needs of his wife and five unmarried daughters. Read Moredisengaged, mocking
Charles BingleyCharles Bingley, the son of a wealthy industrialist, is Mr. Darcy's best friend. When he leases the estate of Netherfield, he sets the novel's plot in motion. Read Morepleasant, well-meaning, pliant
Lydia BennetLydia, the youngest Bennet daughter, is immature, self-absorbed, and irresponsible. Read Moreimmature, impulsive
George WickhamGeorge Wickham is a militia officer, a handsome gold digger who ends up running off with and marrying Lydia Bennet. Read Moredishonest, charming
Mrs. BennetMrs. Bennet is the frivolous wife of Mr. Bennet. The mother of five daughters, her primary concern is to find suitable—that is, wealthy—husbands for her children.shallow, talkative, unsophisticated
Charlotte LucasCharlotte is Elizabeth's dear friend. She is more pragmatic than romantic and is willing to marry for security rather than love.kind, practical
Catherine BennetCatherine, also known as Kitty, is the fourth Bennet daughter. She especially enjoys joining her younger sister in flirting with soldiers.lively, easygoing
Mary BennetMary Bennet, the middle daughter, is less lively than her sisters and prefers to distinguish herself through accomplishments, like reading and practicing piano.bookish, serious, pedantic
Caroline BingleyMiss Bingley is Charles's sister, a social climber who is jealous of Elizabeth's hold on Darcy and unenthusiastic about her brother's attraction to Jane, a member of the lower end of the gentry class.insincere, plotting
Mr. CollinsMr. Collins, a clergyman and the Bennet cousin destined to inherit Longbourn, behaves like a pompous fool around everyone except aristocrats, whom he fawns over.pompous, foolish, obsequious
Lady Catherine de BourghLady Catherine is a haughty noblewoman, Mr. Darcy's aunt, and the patron of Mr. Collins, having granted him the parish that provides his living.snobbish, self-assured, meddling
Mr. GardinerA well-mannered example of the rising merchant class, Mr. Gardiner is Mrs. Bennet's brother.helpful, sensible
Mrs. GardinerMrs. Gardiner is Mrs. Bennet's sister-in-law and is very attentive to her five Bennet nieces.caring, gracious
Georgiana DarcyGeorgiana, Mr. Darcy's sister and twelve years his junior, is a shy teenager and an accomplished musician.shy, sweet, impressionable
Sir William LucasSir William Lucas is a friend of the Bennet family, Charlotte Lucas's father, and resident of Lucas Lodge. He is an affable neighbor though a bit vain about his knighthood.friendly, vain
Mrs. HurstMrs. Hurst is Charles Bingley's sister. She is arrogant, conceited, and married to Mr. Hurst.arrogant, conceited
Mr. HurstMr. Hurst is Charles Bingley's brother-in-law. He looks like a gentleman but is in fact only interested in eating.indolent, preoccupied with food
Colonel FitzwilliamDarcy's cousin and the younger son of an earl, Colonel Fitzwilliam is a congenial character who is evidently charmed by Elizabeth Bennet.friendly, honorable
Mrs. PhilipsMrs. Philips, Mrs. Bennet's sister and every bit as frivolous, lives in the town of Meryton, where the Bennet girls frequently visit her.unsophisticated, gossipy
Mrs. AnnesleyMrs. Annesley is companion to Georgiana, Darcy's younger sister.courteous
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