Princess Bride Re-Analysis

(PBR) analysis by Denise Bartolome

“This is my favorite book in all the world, though I have never read it.” –William Goldman

    1. Essential information about the book: title, author, first copyright date, type of book, general subject matter, special features (maps, color plates, etc.), price and ISBN.
    2. A brief description of the subject and purpose of the book
    3. An outline of its central theme and thesis
    4. A detailed assessment of the author’s main contentions and how they support the thesis
    5. An evaluation of the book’s major strengths and weaknesses


Title: The Princess Bride
Author: William Goldman (although we are led to believe that it was originally written by a Simon Morgenstern from the fictional country of Florin see here for more
copyright date: 1973 by William Goldman
type: fantasy
general subject matter: adventure and romance
special features: excisions and humorously blunt style of writing more on excisions
price: $17.84 on Amazon, free through the library (I used the Iliad)
ISBN: 978-0-15-101544-3


The subject of the book can be summed up by the subtitle on the cover of the novel: a classic tale of true love and high adventure. The purpose, however, is mostly up to the reader but Goldman explicitly states in one of his excisions that this book is about realizing that “life is not fair.” see here for more


The central theme seems to be the point where fantasy meets reality. Goldman interjects his life and thoughts into the story to create a world that is not entirely fantasy because the author chooses to include italicized excisions of his life, thoughts, and aesthetic-process. The mixture of Goldman’s excisions within the story of Westley and Buttercup and all their friends and foes creates a world that plays with the idea of fantasy and reality and back to fantasy again. see Westley as a hero and the excisions link again


The contention in Goldman’s A Princess Bride is explicitly about believing in a happily ever after despite what we observe in real life. Goldman believes that there is no true love yet he states multiple times that A Princess Bride is his favorite book in all the world, though he has never read it (He lied about this, but not really). The book is about true love. the trick and what it means and bashing women


The book’s major strength: humor and blatant style. The excisions (italicized passages where Goldman is apparently revealing to us his own experiences) are really rather interesting. The italicized passages read like David Sedaris at times. It weakness: the story reads very close to the movie especially in the beginning. However, to counter its closeness to the movie, Goldman makes A Princess Bride worth reading because of his notes and tangents that remind us of a reality. (Yes, I say “a reality”…see simulacra) and dystopia.


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