Sometimes, when I listen to ‘A postcard to Henry Purcell’, which is used on the soundtrack for the film ‘Pride and Prejudice,’ I wonder how many people know that it’s only a contemporary version of Rondeau from the Abdelazer Suite by the English Baroque composer, Henry Purcell (1659 – 1695). Both pieces are significant and beautiful and I would not say, ‘This one is better because it incorporates more instruments, and so on’. Beauty is relative.
Actually, this piece inspired me to contemplate on one of the film’s characters, Mr Darcy. Although Mr. Darcy is a fictional figure and the first adaptation of the movie was made over 70 years ago and the novel was written in 1812, he is still perceived by women as charming, attractive and as a matter of fact, the ideal man. No wonder that Mr Darcy became an object of male jokes.
A few years ago, Australian comedian and member of The Chaser satirical group, Chris Taylor, dressed himself as Mr Darcy and went out into the street to find out if studies saying that Mr Darcy ‘is the number one fantasy for women’ were true. Obviously women whom he accosted did not react positively to him, as the clothing, the language, and gestures were weird. At least Taylor was as smart as a fox, and ‘managed’ to prove that women’s daydreams of Mr Darcy are not real at all.
On one hand, the ideal picture of Mr Darcy is exaggerated, as he was very proud, introverted and rigid. One the other hand, the gentlemen from The Chaser seemed to forget about something else, as women don’t miss nicely dressed gentlemen with good manners. First of all, Mr Darcy represents timeless values which might be invisible, such as: self-sacrifice or unconditional love (he never said to Elizabeth, ‘I love you because…’, and married her although she wasn’t from his social class).
Well, these values are difficult, as they would cost us our ‘ego’. I mean, it concerns both sides: contemporary Mr Darcies and Elizabeths. Why are there so many fake romantic characters around? They love without devotion or run away when their own prejudices appear to be stronger than their feelings.