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The Princess Bride

Hero Tale Analysis
by

Dr. Tow

on 17 December 2015

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Transcript of The Princess Bride

Buttercup
sheltered
safe
"Garden of Eden"
Wesley
poor farm boy
"as you wish"
Season
Spring/Early Summer
Comedy and Romance
CHILDHOOD
seems timid and naive
answers his call - seek fortune across the sea
not prepared
separation
transformation
return
Dreaded Pirate Roberts attacks!
"Please, I need to live...for true love!"

Becomes "Guide"
(cope with forces)
Spends 5 years in training
Fight & Fence
Total withdrawal from society
Physical Growth
"Good work, but I will most likely kill you in the morning."
"Life is pain - anyone who says differently is selling something."
Mental Growth
Taught to accept death and confront inner-self
Wesley
transforms
into Roberts
Name
Physical
mustache, black (primal wisdom and death) clothing,
great strength and skill
brave and courageous
immunity to iocane powder
QUEST AND TRIALS
The Call: To find Buttercup
who has been kidnapped
(inner-self)
Trial 1: Climbs the "Cliffs of Insanity"
Trial 2: Duel of Swords
Trial 3: Fighting a "Giant"
Trial 4: "Battle of Wits"
Falls down a steep hill
Foreshadowing of his "death?"
"As...you...wish..."
Trial 5: The "Fire Swamp" - Underworld?
External Forces
Dark, cold, frightening
Area of uncertainty
Flame Spurts
Lightning Sand
Rodents of Unusual Size
UNDERWORLD
"The Pit of Despair"
underground
cold and dark
entrance "tree" (natural mother, world womb, birth and rebirth, life and fertility)
Miracle Max: "The Guide"
knowledgeable and wise
moral qualities: goodwill and readiness to help
appears at a time when hero's life is hopeless and desperate
Irony/Satire
NOT eager to help
NOT a moral character
TAKEN OUT OF THE CYCLE
Rescues the princess, defeats the prince
Retires
WITHDRAWAL
keeper is "albino"
(death, terror and supernatural)
tortured by "The Machine"
"dies"
Childhood

"Wesley had no money for marriage, so he packed his belongings and left the farm to seek his fortune across the sea." (impulsive)
"I will always come for you" (innocent/naive)
"This is true love, you think this happens everyday?" (innocent/naive)
"Poor and perfect." Buttercup
"Eyes like the sea after the storm." Buttercup
Trial 1 - External Forces
"Only Fezzick is strong enough to go up our way.
He'll have to sail around for hours til he finds the harbor." Viccini
"He's climbing the rope and he gaining on us!" Inigo
"Inconceivable!" Viccni
"People in masks cannot be trusted!" Fezzick (transformation)
Trial 2 - External Forces
"You are wonderful!" Inigo
"You are better than me." Inigo
"Inconceivable!" Viccini
Trial 3 - External Forces
"The odds are slightly in your favor at hand fighting." Man in Black
"I fail to understand why you give me so much trouble." Fezzick
Trial 4 - External Forces/Impossible Tasks
"You are no match for my brains." Viccini
"I challenge you to a battle of wits." Man in Black
"Where is the poison?" Man in Black
Trial 5 - External Forces/Impossible Tasks
"No one ever has (survived)" Wesley
"The Fire Swamp certainly keeps you on your toes." Wesley
"We have already succeeded." Wesley
Underworld
"Don't think about escaping, the chains are far too thick...Don't dream about being rescued...the only way in is secret." Albino
"I'm here til I die?" Wesley
"Til they kill you, yea"
"So I am to be tortured?"
"You survived the Fire Swamp, so you must be very brave. But nobody withstands 'The Machine.'"
"No man in this century will suffer as greatly as you!" Humperdink
Guide
helper and "savior"
PHYSICAL DEATH
looks like he is dead
lifeless, "passed out"

Physical Death
"He's dead." Fezzick
"He's only 'mostly dead.'" Miracle Max
"I make him better, Humperdink suffers? Now, that's a noble cause." Miracle Max
"Your Westley is dead, I killed him myself." Humperdink

OVERCOMES DEATH
comes out of The Pit of Despair
confronts Prince Humperdink
rescues the Princess

Overcomes Death
"To the death!" Prince Humperdink
"No, to the pain!" Wesley
"I leave you in anguish, wallowing in freakish
misery forever."
"Drop your sword!"

Hero Taken Out of Cycle
"Have you ever considered piracy? You'd make a wonderful Dreaded Pirate Roberts."


"Since the invention of the kiss there
have been five kisses rated the most
passionate, the most pure...
this one left them all behind."
Full transcript