Princess Bride Re-Analysis

(PBR) analysis by Denise Bartolome

“As you wish” –Westley

It’s just so damn sexy knowing it’s coming from a handsome stable boy who basically becomes a prince of every boy’s dream kingdom–a kingdom without borders. That was a leap but hear me out: Westley is introduced (both in the movie and in the book) as a guy who gets things done. The tall, man-of-few-words-thus-mysterious caricature is cliche but effective in getting across an essential component for a fantastical story. BUT is it really all in the realm of fantasy? One can argue the other way and say that there is a realism in this fantastical depiction of Westley. If we consider that Buttercup and Westley are in their teens, it makes sense that the lens with which we see Westley is fantastical. It makes sense that Westley looks like a golden Adonis despite the soot on his face. We’re seeing Westley through Buttercup’s eyes–eyes which are young and impressionable. In reality, hot people are viewed as fantastical. And then we discover that they’re human, which is what happens as the story progresses.

As a hero in the book, Westley is set up to be this fantastic guy who can do anything and it starts with three little words, “As you wish.” This phrase implies that he can do anything and throughout the rest of the novel, this description is put to the test. What I’m saying (to tie it all together) is that Goldman sets Westley up so that we can discover that he’s human despite his amazing good looks. Westley starts out as a fantastical sort of hero that turns out to be a more realistic hero(given the rules of “magic” in the novel) because we are given a chance to observe his flaws.

About the kingdom: he turns into the Dreaded Pirate Robert which means that he’s a sort of prince of the sea.


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