Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice include a large number of characters. Elizabeth Bennet is the main character, or protagonist, and we frequently follow her point of view. She is also called Eliza and Lizzy. Elizabeth is a developing, or round, character as she changes throughout the narrative. Her characterisation is conveyed both directly by other characters and the narrator, and indirectly through her actions, speech, and attitude.

Fitzwilliam Darcy is one of the two main characters in the novel Pride and Prejudice and can be described as the hero of the plot. He is also a complex character that develops as a result of the plot. Together with Elizabeth he makes up the most important couple in the novel.

Elizabeth’s parents, Mr Bennet and Mrs Bennet, are secondary, but important, characters. Elizabeth’s older sister Jane and Darcy’s wealthy friend Charles Bingley are the second most important couple in the story.

Lydia Bennet and George Wickham form the third couple in the story, and you may say that compared to the other two couples this one is of a lesser quality. Lydia is Elizabeth’s immature and frivolous sister, who nearly ruins her own reputation and that of her sisters by running away with Mr Wickham. Wickham acts as a villain in the story, spreading lies about Darcy, courting many women, and eventually eloping with Lydia.

The novel also includes a number of other relatives and acquaintances of the Bennet family, including Elizabeth’s other younger sisters Mary and Kitty, her aunts and uncles, her friend Charlotte Lucas and her family, her cousin Mr Collins, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, Mr Darcy's younger sister, and Mr Bingley’s sisters.

You can read our characterisation of the most important characters in the next pages.