Study Guide

The Princess Bride Courage


VIZZINI: I suppose you think you're brave, don't you?

BUTTERCUP: Only compared to some.

Aw, snap. This is such a great line, because Buttercup not only answers Vizzini's question in the affirmative, but in doing so demonstrates the very trait she's being accused of. It has to take guts to talk like that to someone who has taken you prisoner and has ready access to a supply of bladed instruments.

WESTLEY: A few more steps and we'll be safe in the fire swamp.

BUTTERCUP: We'll never survive.

WESTLEY: Nonsense. You're only saying that because no one ever has.

It's tough to say how worried Westley really is here. Is he secretly terrified, but putting on a brave face for Buttercup's benefit? Or is he really so cocksure and certain of his abilities that he honestly isn't concerned even when he should be? Our money's on the former. You could put this guy at the edge of an active volcano and he'd be thinking about roasting marshmallows.

HUMPERDINCK: I give you full marks for bravery. Don't make yourself a fool.

As much as Humperdinck despises Westley (and they only just met!), even he has to acknowledge the man's courage. Still, he can't help but turn it into a backhanded compliment there at the end.

BUTTERCUP: And when I say you are a coward, that is only because you are the slimiest weakling ever to crawl the earth.

Another example of Buttercup showing off her own bravery by cutting down someone else for having courage in short supply. She has to know Humperdinck isn't going to take that one too well, but she says it anyway. Remind us not to ask her what she thinks of our new haircut. That girl tells it like it is.

COUNT RUGEN: Good heavens. Are you still trying to win?

This is perhaps one of the greatest examples of courage in the entire flick. It's one thing to be brave when you're at 100% and don't have the handle of a dagger protruding from your abdomen. But Inigo finds a way to fight past the pain and draw deeply from his reserve of courage. He comes right at Rugen, even when he knows it's going to mean still more pain.

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