Rosamond is the most genteel character in Middlemarch. Her interests are not serious; she is concerned with social niceties, upward mobility, and living well. While Dorothea is beautiful, Rosamond is stunning and swanlike, a model of perfection. Although Rosamond comes from a middle-class background, her education lifts her to a higher social circle. She represents the ability to change social status through conduct, but in the end her education ruins her marriage and happiness.

Rosamond’s primary motivation is social advancement, which fuels her desire to wed Dr. Lydgate. Initially Rosamond seems to genuinely love Lydgate, but when he loses his money, Rosamond loses interest in him. Their marriage fails as Rosamond struggles to keep her house and her possessions and becomes petulant and manipulative in the process.