The Princess Bride by William Goldman

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What are some of the themes of the Princess Bride other than true love?

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Jonathan Beutlich, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In addition to love, I think there is a theme of the importance of marriage in the story. I realize that the two are closely related, but I feel it is important to note that the implied culmination of Westley's and Buttercup's love for each other is not sex. It's marriage. The theme of marriage is shown elsewhere in the story too. Humperdinck might be the bad guy, but he does understand that marriage to Buttercup is key to their relationship.

"I think, sweetest child, that we should strike a bargain, you and I: if Westley wants to marry you still, bless you both. If, for reasons unpleasant to mention, his pride will not let him, then you will marry me, as planned, and be the Queen of Florin."

Even Miracle Max and his wife can be used as evidence for the book showing the theme of marriage. They might argue and bicker with each other, but they remain committed to each other.

Friendship and loyalty were discussed by the previous post, and I'd like to add to the loyalty theme. The previous post discussed loyalty between friends and lovers, but I would like to add that the story also shows loyalty to family. Inigo's entire reason for his hunt and turning himself into a great sword fighter is to avenge his father's death. Inigo is even offered wealth and power beyond his imagination by Count Rugen, and Inigo tells Rugen (and readers) that what he wants more than anything else is to have his father back.


The theme of family and loyalty to family is also shown through Goldman discussing his life, the book, and his family. Readers are told that the book was important to him as a child because his father read it to him, and now he is passing the torch.

And my father read it to me. And now I give it to you. What you do with it will be of more than passing interest to us all.

Since I brought up Inigo and his motivation to become a great swordsman, another theme that has to be mentioned is the theme of revenge. Inigo absolutely wants his father back, which he knows is not possible. The next best thing is revenge. He needs to kill the six-fingered man.

"Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya; you killed my father; prepare to die."

Despite being entirely focused on getting revenge against Count Ruben, Inigo is willing...

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Kristen Lentz eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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gg46 | Student

appearance versus reality

prince humperdinck appears to be curious as to who kidnapped buttercup, but as you later find out, he is the one who hired the kidnappers.

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