The True Hero of the Princess Bride

June 7, 2022 by Essay Writer

The Princess Bride, a novel of “True Love and High Adventure” by William Goldman, is a literary marvel that has etched its way into the shortlist of classical books. The story revolves around two star-crossed lovers, Westley and Buttercup, who are separated by pirates, a dream of moving to America, and a corrupt Prince Humperdinck. What happens? Westley comes in and saves Buttercup with the help of unlikely allies. As we analyze this further, is Westley really a hero; or is he saving Buttercup because she is the most beautiful woman in the world? What if true heroism is found through other characteristics, like persistence, or courtesy? These new requisites for heroism point to a new character, Inigo Montoya, who is kind to everyone he meets, and is thorough and persistent in his trials. Although this is highly debatable, Inigo Montoya is the true hero of The Princess Bride.

To begin with, the best way to see who is more heroic is from a perspective. Inigo Montoya’s intentions are to kill Count Rugen because he murdered his father, Domingo Montoya as explained in The Princess Bride, “The noble [Count Rugen] killed him then, with no warning; a flash of the nobleman’s sword and Domingo’s heart was torn to pieces” (Goldman 64). In the end, Inigo accomplishes his goal, killing Count Rugen. This may seem like a happy ending to the subplot between the Count and Inigo, but Inigo accomplished the greater good by getting rid of Count Rugen forever, who was Prince Humperdinck’s minion, and a sadistic person who loved to inflict and study pain on innocent people.

Westley, on the other hand, might seem like a hero. He outsmarted and killed the evil Sicilian, beat Inigo in a sword duel, and beat Fezzik in a fight. What’s more heroic than that? Just that the fact that he didn’t get rid of Prince Humperdinck. He left him in a chair for his henchmen to find and release him while he and Buttercup escaped. (183) That is not a very heroic thing because he isn’t thinking about other people. Humperdinck’s plan was to kill Buttercup and wage war on Guilder. Now that she is gone, he could do that and hurt a lot of innocent people just because of his satisfaction of love. Westley would then be living like a king on his pirate ship, while Prince Humperdinck continues his evil. Happy ending or not, it is not very heroic. Inigo, on the other hand, killed the Count and got rid of a pain loving sadist, and saved who knows how many more test subjects for his evil pain machine.

In addition, Inigo is more courteous and persistent than Westley. He is courteous because he is very fair with other people. During the duel between him and Westley, he gives Westley a chance to get lifted onto the top of the cliff so he doesn’t have to painstakingly climb the next 20 feet. He also gives Westley a chance to recover after he is safely on top of the cliff. (72)


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