The Plot

(Critical Survey of Science Fiction and Fantasy)

The novel begins with an explanation of how the narrator came to abridge the book. His father had read The Princess Bride, by S. Morgenstern, to him when he had pneumonia as a child. Remembering the story fondly, the narrator was shocked that his own son hated it until he realized that his father had skipped the boring passages when reading it to him. The narrator edited the book, leaving only “the good parts” and adding comments in red type throughout. This process resulted in The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern’s Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure, the “Good Parts” Version, Abridged.

In this abridged form of an imaginary book, when Buttercup is eighteen years old (and not yet the most beautiful woman in the world), she suddenly notices the stable hand Westley, who has always responded to her orders with “As you wish.” They declare their love, and he leaves to earn his fortune. Buttercup soon learns that he has been killed by pirates and vows never to love again.

Evil Prince Humperdinck of Florin needs a wife and proposes to Buttercup because she is beautiful. Given a choice between marriage and death, Buttercup chooses marriage. Once the wedding is announced, she is kidnapped by men hired by the prince to kill her on the Florin/Guilder border. Humperdinck plans to blame the murder on Guilder, giving him a reason to invade that kingdom. The kidnappers, however, are followed by a man wearing a...

(The entire section is 578 words.)