Elizabeth: Elizabeth is the main character of the novel, and the story traces her changing impressions of other characters throughout the narrative. While at first she finds Wickham charming and Darcy proud, in the end she realizes that she has been blind and prejudiced, and that Darcy is the true gentleman while Wickham is not. About Elizabeth, Jane Austen wrote in a letter, “I must confess that I think her as delightful a creature as ever appeared in print, and how I shall be able to tolerate those who do not like her at least I do not know.”
Jane: Jane is the eldest Bennet daughter and is considered quite pretty by all. Her seeming indifference to Bingley initially drives him away from her (with the help of Darcy), but in the end the two are married. Elizabeth often wishes she could be as good and happy as Jane is, as Jane never thinks badly of anyone.
Mr. Bennet: Mr. Bennet is the husband of Mrs. Bennet and the father of Elizabeth, Jane, Mary, Kitty and Lydia. He is the master of Longbourn. He has a sarcastic humor, and believes his two eldest daughters sensible, while he finds his wife and younger daughters silly.
Mrs. Bennet : Mrs. Bennet is the wife of Mr. Bennet and the mother of Elizabeth, Jane, Mary, Kitty and Lydia. Her main goal is to get her daughters married, and her only joys come from visiting and gossip. She often embarrasses Elizabeth and Jane, as she is not as sensible as her husband is.
Mary: Mary is the only plain Bennet sister, and rather than join in some of the family activities, she reads, although is often impatient for display. She works hard for knowledge and accomplishment, but has neither genius nor taste. At the ball at Netherfield, she embarrasses Elizabeth by singing badly.
Kitty: Kitty is the second to the youngest Bennet sister, and is often referred to as silly. She and Lydia spend their time running after officers in Meryton, but after the influence of Lydia is removed, Kitty greatly improves.
Lydia: Lydia is the youngest Bennet daughter, and she is described as silly and untamed. After she elopes with Wickham and he is paid to marry her, she shows no remorse, but acts as if she has made a wonderful match that her sisters should be jealous of.
Bingley: Bingley is the good looking and gentlemanlike master of Netherfield. He is admired by all, and does not seem to mind the inferior rank of Jane and her family. He allows Darcy to sway him into leaving Netherfield by saying Jane is indifferent to him, but later returns to find that Jane loves him after all.
Darcy: Darcy is early condemned as proud in the novel, and indeed his behavior seems to suggest it, but after Elizabeth’s refusal of him, he takes her reproofs to heart and tries to change. Elizabeth realizes that some of what had been seen as pride was rather shyness and realizes what a gentleman he is, and in the end, people’s opinions of him are changing.
Caroline Bingley: Caroline is the sister of Bingley, and while Elizabeth thinks her proud and conceited, Jane becomes a special friend of hers. After Caroline forsakes Jane in hopes that her brother will marry Miss Darcy, Jane ends the acquaintance. Caroline is usually making fun of Elizabeth and her family, as she is jealous of Darcy’s admiration of her.
Louisa Hurst: Mrs. Hurst is also a sister of Bingley’s. She is also proud, and takes part in making fun of Elizabeth.
Sir William Lucas and Lady Lucas: The Lucases are neighbors to the Bennets, and Lady Lucas and Mrs. Bennet compare their accomplishments in trying to get their daughters married.
Charlotte Lucas: Charlotte is the daughter of Sir William and Lady Lucas and an intimate friend of Elizabeth’s. She surprises Elizabeth by marrying Mr. Collins, and Elizabeth feels the couple will not be happy.
Mr. Collins: Mr. Collins is the cousin of Mr. Bennet, and will inherit Longbourn at Mr. Bennet’s death. He is a clergyman under the patronage of Lady Catherine de Burgh, and his constant apologies and flattery are self-serving. At first he intends to marry Jane, then changes to Elizabeth, and when she refuses him, marries Charlotte Lucas.
Mr. Wickham: Mr. Wickham comes to Meryton as an officer and at first his good looks and pleasant manner enchant all. However, it is soon known that he is a liar and in debt, and when he runs off with Lydia, he must be paid to marry her.
Mrs. Gardiner: Mrs. Gardiner is Mr. Gardiner’s wife and a favorite of Elizabeth and Jane. Jane stays with the Gardiners in London for a while, and Elizabeth travels with them to Derbyshire, where she again meets Darcy.
Mr. Gardiner: Mr. Gardiner is Mrs. Bennet’s brother and the husband of Mrs. Gardiner, and is quite sensible and gentlemanlike. He tries to help Lydia when she elopes with Wickham.
Lady Catherine de Bourgh: Lady Catherine is the aunt of Darcy, and the patron of Collins. She is quite proud and does not let the other characters forget their inferior rank. She is shocked by the relationship between Elizabeth and Darcy, but her attempts to ensure that they are never married only serve to bring them together.
Colonel Fitzwilliam: Fitzwilliam is the younger son of Darcy’s uncle. With Darcy, he is the guardian of Miss Darcy.
Miss Darcy: Miss Darcy is Darcy’s sister, and while in the beginning of the novel it is said that she is proud, Elizabeth finds her just to be shy. It is related that earlier in her life she had thought herself in love with Wickham, but that Darcy had stopped the marriage. In the end she lives at Pemberley with Darcy and Elizabeth, and the two women are good friends.