Some things just never get old. Obviously, the phenomenon of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice is a perfect example of something that never goes out of style (or out of print). I have seen several movie adaptations of Pride and Prejudice, but the Utah Shakespearean Festival's stage adaptation of Austen's story is the first time I've seen it on stage: it was an experience well worth the trip! Every time I see a version of Pride and Prejudice, I think about the character of Elizabeth Bennett for days afterwards. Elizabeth is one of my favorite characters from literature - along with Jo March, Anne Shirley and Horacio Hornblower - and I always fancy myself to be like Elizabeth in some way. But doesn't every Pride and Prejudice fan? So what is it about Elizabeth that makes me want to be more like her?
Kate Cook and Michael Brusasco as Elizabeth and Darcy, respectively
First, I find her impertinence and wit delightful; she seems to have a witty comeback for every remark directed at her (even if her replies get her into trouble). When she first converses with Lady Catherine de Bourgh, Lady Catherine is shocked at her "direct answers," and that she gave her opinions "very decidedly for so young a person." She wasn't afraid to speak her mind, and didn't feel like she needed to bend and simper at Lady Catherine's feet!
Second, her loyalty to her family is admirable to me. One of her biggest qualms about Darcy are his efforts to separate Jane and Bingley. She speaks so well of her sister Jane, and runs to her side when Jane gets sick at the Bingley's. And despite her acknowledgement that her mother and younger sisters are ridiculous, her love towards them is still evident, especially as she warns her father against Lydia's going to Brighton with the regiment. Even when she marries Darcy, she helps her family to rise with her instead of shunning them in her new sphere.
Lastly, I wanted to talk about her ability to change. Elizabeth's opinion of Darcy and Wickham are very decided from first acquaintance; however, once she learns the truth about Darcy and Wickham, as well as Darcy's motives behind separating Jane and Bingley, she is quick to admit that her pride and prejudice towards Darcy were at fault. We all make mistakes! She was no different - but she was able to admit her mistake and move on.
Isn't good literature wonderful? :)
PS I also saw Hitchcock's play 39 Steps at the Shakespeare Festival - it was hilarious! I would definitely recommend it to anyone.