Who is Fitzwilliam Darcy?

Who is Fitzwilliam Darcy?

There are so many layers to Darcy’s personality: arrogance, vulnerability, determination, loyalty, honesty to a fault, love of family, pride (sometimes to a fault also), shy, lack of comfort with those he is not acquainted with, a sense of justice, sensitivity, and a lack of tact (i.e. his first proposal to Elizabeth). Like many of us, he has a number of different traits as well as several that could be conflicting as well.

I found Matthew Macfadyen’s comments concerning Darcy very insightful.

“I love you. Most ardently” (Mr. Darcy) “Reading the script it’s clear the moments when he’s vulnerable. The scene in the rain, until then he’s just unlikable. He doesn’t say anything nice about anybody, he doesn’t look at anybody. He makes a little bit of an effort in the scene at the piano when he explains why he can’t talk to people. But it’s the scene in the rain, that car crash scene where everything goes so badly when he tells her he loves her, that’s when you like him.”

That’s also the time we can commiserate with him as Elizabeth shreds him for his arrogance and total lack of awareness of how he’s hurt her feelings with the comments about her station and, especially, her family. He’s totally clueless, at times, when he opens his mouth without thinking first of how his words will be received. Quite a few of us can recognize that trait. 🙂

I love the Pride and Prejudice 2005 movie with Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen. There are so many layers to Darcy, and I think Macfadyen captures all of them. For me, it would be hard not to love someone like that. And I agree with the following quote.

“Matthew Macfadyen finds a human dimension in the taciturn landowner Fitzwilliam Darcy that was missing in earlier, more conventionally heroic portrayals. Mr. Firth might have been far more dashing, but Mr. Macfadyen’s portrayal of the character as a shy, awkward suitor whose seeming arrogance camouflages insecurity and deep sensitivity is more realistic.” (Stephen Holden, The New York Times)

Now, personally, I think Firth and MacFadyen both concentrated on what they felt was the main characteristic of Darcy: Firth depicted more arrogance and MacFadyen more vulnerability. I think both did good in how they handled those traits. I also think that whether an individual likes Firth or Macfadyen better as Darcy is according to which depiction they prefer. I don’t think one is necessarily better than the other.

As to the different versions of Pride and Prejudice, I have seen all of the 1940 and love it in spite of its inaccuracies and quirkiness. Laurence Olivier was definitely arrogant. Loved Edna Mae Oliver as Lady Catherine de Bourgh. She was wonderful at looking down her nose at others. I’ve also seen clips of the 1967 and 1980 versions and can enjoy them as well. At least the 1980. Unfortunately, the BBC destroyed most of the 1967 which I would have loved to have seen in its entirety as it looks more like what I would expect to see in the early 1800s even though it was in black and white.

The 1995 version appeared in all its opulence and wealth as well as a very arrogant Fitzwilliam Darcy. And that was appropriate as Darcy used that arrogance as a shield to protect his vulnerable and sensitive side which seems to have been hidden pretty well in most versions except the 2005 movie. I love that version because Darcy’s arrogant shield failed to protect him against Elizabeth’s wrath, and I felt his hurt at her words. Instead of being above everybody else around him, Darcy was shown to be a good man but with imperfections just like every other human on earth. Thus, he could be loved in spite of his flaws since none of us are perfect.

Fitzwilliam Darcy just needed a little bit more balance in his life: a little more emphasis on his good qualities and a little less on those that didn’t serve him as well. I’m sure Elizabeth helped in that regard. 🙂

But, then again, does it really matter. We love Fitzwilliam Darcy no matter what, flaws and all. We need to look at him just as Elizabeth finally did in recognizing that his excellent traits outweighed his not so good traits and love him anyway. <3

Below are links to YouTube.com that give us a fair amount of the 1967 adaptation. ENJOY!

References:

1967 Proposal Scene (1967) 3.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4liPlcAVoIY

Pride and Prejudice (1967) 4.     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtQZMHUINGI&t=796s

Comparison of 1940, 1967, 1980, 1995 and 2005 versions of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4EYDH9eR4iA

 

Sharing is Caring!
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
Whatsapp
LinkedIn
Follow by Email
0 0 votes
RATE THIS POST!
SUBSCRIBE (optional)
Email alert of:
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

17 COMMENTS
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
DarcyBennett
DarcyBennett
March 25, 2021 4:52 PM

I love all the actors I’ve seen in the role. I wish there were more adaptations though as there are a few actors I would have loved to see tackle the role.

cindie snyder
cindie snyder
March 15, 2021 8:33 PM

I love the P+P with Keira Knightley and Matthew! It was what made me read P+P to begin with!I could watch it over and over and never get tired! I like Colin Firth too.

MaryAnn Nagy
March 15, 2021 4:43 PM

I thought you hit the nail on the head when you wrote the article. I read “Pride and Prejudice” when I was in grade school and just becoming a teenager and fell in love with Darcy. I have seen other versions of the movie but still 2005 is my favorite one of Elizabeth and Darcy. Perhaps it was that they were near the age of the characters when the movie was made however, I thought Matthew MacFadyen was the way I visualized him when I first read the novel.
However, when we see whoever played them and what year it was made in, Jane Austen’s novel lives on in our hearts and we continue reading novels about the lovely couple!

Sheila L. Majczan
Sheila L. Majczan
March 15, 2021 3:18 PM

I have copies of all the movie versions of P&P. My favorite is 1995 and, No, it is not because of the pond scene. The earliest version is somewhat laughable as they cast older people in young roles and changed the script at times. Thanks for sharing here.

Sheila L. Majczan
Sheila L. Majczan
March 15, 2021 3:26 PM

NO, sorry, I am wrong. I have the 1985, 1995, 2005 and the modern makeover. I thought I had a copy of the 1940 version but can’t seem to locate it so I can’t say I have it.

J. W. Garrett
J. W. Garrett
March 15, 2021 12:54 PM

I have all the movie versions in my collection. I think I’ve seen clips of the 1969 version. It is too bad it was destroyed. 1940: Lady Catherine was a giggle. Lydia was certainly over the top and didn’t even realize what she had done to her family. Among the bloopers was their introductions and the procession into dinner… oldest to the youngest was certainly ignored. I can’t help it, I loved the inaccurate costumes. How many ways can you decorate a hat, or, redesign a dress. Fabulous. I would love to have seen it in color. 1980: Mr. Collins actually looked like he was described. This Darcy was truly arrogant and showed his disdain. He didn’t crack a smile until near the end. 1995 will always be my favorite. Team Firth. I think I have about 3 copies of this one [collectors’ edition, extended version, anniversary edition, etc.] 2005 has the best look for the Bennet house [Longbourn] and everyday clothing. And let’s not forget that amazing dance scene, our hero walking through the morning mist [help me], and last but not least… the last scene of the movie. Whew. Now, what was it you were talking about? My mind wandered with thoughts of Darcy. LOL! Thanks for the post. Blessings, stay safe, and healthy.

Robin G.
Robin G.
March 15, 2021 12:11 PM

I loved both Firth and Macfadyen as Darcy. I think that the portrayals in part reflect the reality of the versions. Firth had 5 hours for the viewer to fall in love with him, while Macfadyen had only 2. After all, if we can’t fall in love with Darcy, then the version is a failure! Lol. Firth could be really stiff and arrogant with his Darcy, and had time to gradually show more emotion. MacFadyen had a few small moments hinting of Darcy’s shyness leading up to the proposal scene, and then his vulnerability showed and continued to the end.

Glynis
Glynis
March 15, 2021 6:54 AM

I find the 1940 version to be slightly entertaining although it actually bears little resemblance to the original book. I don’t remember ever seeing the 1969 version, I watched the 1980 version once and found that once too many, I couldn’t stand this portrayal of Darcy and felt a cardboard cutout would have done just as well!
Then we come to 1995! Fabulous, absolutely fabulous! Followed by 2005! Also fabulous! I absolutely love both these portrayals of Darcy and my favourite is whichever I’m watching! I watch both constantly and totally agree with your reasoning on both.??????

Jean
Jean
March 15, 2021 6:54 AM

Loved the article. I read Pride and Prejudice when I was in high school for my first time. The, I just saw him as arrogant and snobbish. But he was changed by Elizabeth’s reprimanded. Every movie that I had seen, portrayed him in the same manner, until 2005’s version. I loved that one, and completely see him now as a shy, awkward man who Sid hide behind his aristocracy and wealth. I have reread the book several times through the years, but since 2005’s movie, I can never see this character in any other way but as he was portrayed by Matthew McFadyen.

17
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x