The Princess Bride by William Goldman

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What makes the Princess Bride a fairy tale and what doesn't? (relating to the film)

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The quality that most sets the film version of The Princess Bride apart from the fairy-tale genre is its humor. The humor in the film varies from the ridiculous to the satirical, which are not adjectives that describe most typical fairy tales.

Some of the most ridiculous moments in the film involve funny words or tones of voice, and the success of these moments relies on the skill of the actors playing the funny parts. For example, two characters in the film, the clergyman and Vizzini, use silly-sounding manners of speech to get laughs. Their mispronunciations and their style of speaking are not laughable in and of themselves, but they can be entertaining when juxtaposed against events like the wedding or the poison-drinking contest that would seemingly require more formal speechmaking.

The humor in the film also mocks the melodramatic tone that sometimes characterizes fairy tales containing darker themes like revenge and death by poison. For example, when Wesley is tortured in the film,...

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