Description of Mr. Collins

Mr. William Collins

Ah, Mr. Collins, the epitome of pompous awkwardness in Pride and Prejudice! He may not be the most endearing character, but his presence adds plenty of comedic relief and social commentary to the story. 

Physical Appearance:

  • Not explicitly described by Austen, but readers often imagine him as tall, thin, and slightly ridiculous in his attire, perhaps overly concerned with fashion despite his modest means.

Character Description and Analysis:

  • Obsequious and Pompous: Mr. Collins' most defining trait is his exaggerated deference to Lady Catherine de Bourgh and his self-important pronouncements.
  • Clueless and Insensitive: He lacks social awareness and often makes embarrassing remarks without understanding their effect on others.
  • Pathetic and Comic: His clumsy attempts at courtship and self-importance make him a source of amusement for both readers and other characters.
  • Satire of Social Climbing: Mr. Collins represents the dangers of social ambition and the ridiculousness of blind adherence to class hierarchy.
  • Foil to Elizabeth: His flaws highlight Elizabeth's intelligence, wit, and independence, making their interactions particularly entertaining.

Character Mentions:

  • Introduced as the heir presumptive to Longbourn and a distant cousin of Mr. Bennet.
  • Appears frequently throughout the first half of the novel, interacting with the Bennets, Darcy, and Lady Catherine.
  • Plays a pivotal role in proposing to Elizabeth, prompting her dramatic refusal and setting in motion several key plot points.


  • "My dear Mr. Bennet, your kindness in allowing me to be so frequently at Longbourn is most warmly appreciated." (Mr. Collins' pompous attempt at gratitude)
  • "Miss Elizabeth, I must confess that, ever since I first beheld you, your charms have been my sole thought." (Mr. Collins' disastrous proposal)
  • "In point of eligibility and gentility, my situation renders any further disclaimer on that head unnecessary." (Mr. Collins' ridiculous self-assessment)

Additional Background:

  • Mr. Collins is often seen as a caricature of clergymen of the time, highlighting the potential for hypocrisy and social climbing within the church.
  • His character serves as a reminder of the importance of authenticity and self-awareness in social interactions.

Whether you find Mr. Collins annoying, pitiful, or just plain hilarious, there's no denying his contribution to the rich tapestry of Pride and Prejudice. 

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