An officer in the regiment stationed at Meryton, Officer Wickham possesses a charm that hides his dissolute, untrustworthy personality. He was godson to Darcy's father. However, Wickham betrayed Darcy by seducing Georgiana when she was only 15. He also spreads false rumors about Darcy throughout Hertfordshire and Meryton. Overall, Wickham is driven by self-interest, revealed by his many romantic engagements (or lack thereof, in the case of Elizabeth). He is also a static character and marries Lydia only because Darcy provides a financial incentive. In the epilogue, Austen implies that Wickham tires of Lydia after a certain point.
All of Austen’s many characters come alive through dialogue, as the narrative voice in Austen’s work is secondary to the voices of the characters. Long, unwieldy speeches are rare, as are detailed physical descriptions. In their place, the reader hears the crackle of quick, witty conversation. True nature reveals itself in the way the characters speak: Mr. Bennet’s emotional detachment comes across in his dry wit, while Mrs. Bennet ’s hysterical excess drips from every sentence she utters. Austen’s dialogue often serves to reveal the worst aspects of her characters—Miss Bingley’s spiteful, snobbish attitudes are readily apparent in her words, and Mr. Collins’s long-winded speeches (and occasional letters, which are a kind of secondary dialogue) carry with them a tone-deaf pomposity that defines his character perfectly. Dialogue can also conceal bad character traits: Wickham, for instance, hides his rogue’s heart beneath the patter of pleasant, witty banter, and he manages to take Elizabeth in with his smooth tongue (although his good looks help as well). Ultimately, though, good conversational ability and general goodness of personality seem to go hand in hand. It is no accident that Darcy and Elizabeth are the best conversationalists in the book: Pride and Prejudice is the story of their love, and for the reader, that love unfolds through the words they share.