Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice: Character Analysis

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice: Character Analysis & Concept

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:01 Pride & Prejudice
  • 1:12 Who Is Elizabeth Bennet?
  • 2:35 Context & Time Period
  • 4:15 Elizabeth's Legacy
  • 4:52 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Speed Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Liz Breazeale
Elizabeth Bennet is the protagonist of Jane Austen's most famous novel ''Pride and Prejudice''. In this lesson, discover who Elizabeth Bennet is, how she compares to most young women of the 1800s, and what her legacy is.

Pride and Prejudice

The name 'Jane Austen' typically conjures romantic images and quotes set against the backdrop of a romantic English country estate. The words Pride and Prejudice do pretty much the same thing. But what about the characters who inhabit these places? In 1813, Jane Austen published the first edition of her novel Pride and Prejudice, introducing the world to perhaps her best-known heroine, Elizabeth Bennet.

First, let's briefly orient ourselves in the world of the novel. Elizabeth Bennet, the protagonist of the story, is the second oldest of five daughters spawned by Mr. and Mrs. Bennet, who own a small country estate. Mr. Bennet, while more sensible than his wife, pays little attention to the rules of society. Mrs. Bennet, on the other hand, enjoys dancing, parties, and dragging her daughters haphazardly toward the altar. The novel follows Elizabeth as she navigates all the trappings of country wealth, deals with her sometimes insane family members, has a few slip ups because of, you guessed it, her pride and her prejudice, and ultimately finds happiness in the arms of Mr. Darcy.

Who is this Elizabeth Bennet?

At the beginning of the novel, Elizabeth (or Lizzie) Bennet is twenty years old, unmarried, and usually at odds with her mother, who wishes Elizabeth would care more about marriage. Elizabeth is often described as being her father's favorite daughter for her intelligence, wit, and playful sense of humor. She's often sarcastic and holds onto her initial judgments of people she meets; the irony, of course, as the reader begins to see throughout the novel, is that Elizabeth always thinks her initial judgments are correct, and that allowing herself to give second chances is stupid.

But, as the title suggests, Elizabeth has to deal with this prejudice in a very real way after her much younger sister has eloped with Mr. Wickham, a man Elizabeth initially thought was trustworthy. Ironically, Elizabeth initially distrusts the much more honest and upstanding Mr. Darcy in favor of Mr. Wickham.

Not only is she downright spunky and mouthy (in an awesome way), Elizabeth is book smart as well. She loves reading, as well as being outside. In fact, she loves walking almost as much as she loves her older sister, the sweet, quiet Jane. In one particular instance, Jane becomes sick while staying at a house a few miles away from home. Rather than wait for news of Jane's condition, Elizabeth puts on her boots and journeys to care for her sister.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account