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Written by Timothy Sexton
"This is my favorite book in all the world, though I have never read it."
This is the opening line of The Princess Bride and sets the stage for the book’s construction as an abridgment by Goldman of a previously existing book written by S. Morgenstern. The Goldman who writes this line is a semi-fictionalized version of the actual author of the real novel The Princess Bride. What he means by it being his favorite book is that as a kid he had it read to him as a bedtime story with all the boring parts of the book judiciously edited out in the telling. The first time that Goldman ever actually opens S. Morgenstern’s book to read it for himself, he realizes just how much of the book consisted of the boring parts that were cut out to heighten his enjoyment as a kid.
"As you wish."
The poor but handsome farm boy whom the beautiful Buttercup abuses terribly before finally realizing she has fallen in love with him seems to be a bit of a submissive dolt. Because all he ever replies when Buttercup requests that he do something—anything—is “as you wish.” Turns out that the farm boy named Westley is not so much a submissive slave as he is a slave to love. His devotion to the young woman destined to take over the title of most beautiful woman in the world is expressed through the repetition of “as you wish.” Good thing, too, because eventually those words will reveal not just his true identity beneath a black mask, but that the rumors of his death were tragically exaggerated.
"Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father; prepare to die!"
The book’s most oft-quoted bit of dialogue and the emotional center of the plot. After witnessing his father’s cold-blooded murder by the six-fingered man, young Inigo commits himself to a life of learning to become the greatest swordsman on earth and tracking down that disfigured villain who took his father away. When he finally catches up to the six-fingered man, or so goes the plan, he will introduce himself using the above quoted words before exacting his revenge.
Vizzini views himself as equipped with an intellect much higher than most; certainly his mind is of greater stuff than that of anyone stupid enough to chase after them for kidnapping the future Princess Buttercup when he has made quite sure that they are making their getaway in the fastest ship on all of Florin Channel. Nevertheless, the shadowy figure in pursuit seems to be making progress…and continues to make progress climbing up the Cliffs of Insanity despite the fact that evidence available to Vizzini has assured him that such a thing is inconceivable.
"I don't think it means what you think it does."
After hearing Vizzini assure he and fellow kidnapper Fezzik that it is absolutely inconceivable that someone could be following them…and that the person following them could ever actually catch up with them, Inigo finally requests that Vizzini stop saying everything is inconceivable before going on to suggest that perhaps despite the Sicilian’s proclaimed intelligence, he may possibly have gotten mixed up on the actual definition of the word.
"Life is pain, Anybody that says different is selling something."
Fezzik is quite huge and quite powerful. He’s really a rather sensitive soul at heart, but his size is perfect for making money in the national sport of his homeland, Turkey. That sport is fighting. Fezzik’s mom and dad are quite eager to see some of the big money that is to be made in the fighting racket in Turkey. When Fezzik asserts that he does not want to fight because he is afraid the opponent will hurt him, his mother doles out the above maternal advice. The darkness of such a truth issuing forth from his mother and not his father—or, for that matter, from any parent to their child—is highly suggestive of the much darker character of the book version of The Princess Bride over its rather mindlessly sunny cinematic counterpart.
"But I also have to say, for the umpty-umpth time, that life isn't fair. It's just fairer than death, that's all."
The last lines of the book. And also it’s moral.
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