The Princess Bride by William Goldman

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What are some fairy tale elements in The Princess Bride?

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Although Goldman's The Princess Bride is as much parody of fairy tale as fairy tale, there are any number of fairy tale elements in it. If you are not familiar with the elements of a fairy tale, some of the most common are: signal phrases for beginnings and endings, such as "once upon a time" and "happily ever after"; magic words or phrases, like "abracadabra" or "open sesame!"; sharp distinctions between good characters and evil characters; disconnect with the real or historical world, with stories taking place in an "enchanted forest" or faraway kingdom; magic; false death or sleeping sickness; happy endings; moral messages; royalty and castles; non-human creatures; and magic items.

Choosing just one for The Princess Bride, I would suggest repeated "magic" words and phrases. Three clear examples are "true love," "as you wish," and "My name is Inigo Montoya..." They might not seem like traditional magic words but each does have a magical function within the story.

From the beginning, the...

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