Study Guide

The Princess Bride Love


GRANDFATHER: It was the book my father used to read to me when I was sick, and I used to read it to your father, and today, I'm gonna read it to you.

You thought we were going to start with Westley and Buttercup, didn't you? First things first. We're initially introduced to the grandfather and his grandson, and while it's admittedly a very different kind of love, there's no arguing that the affection felt between these two characters is every bit as deep and pure as that between a couple of young lovers. They even do as much bickering. There's also the reference to enduring love between the generations that passed down the story. So love frames the film right from the start.

GRANDFATHER: That day she was amazed to discover that when he was saying "As you wish," what he meant was, "I love you." And even more amazing was the day she realized she truly loved him back.

The line is uttered by our narrator, but it refers to our two heroes, and the first moment they realize that the feeling is mutual. Westley chose to go with the refined "as you wish" to announce his feelings as opposed to the slightly more relaxed "you got it, sweetheart." We're glad he did.

WESTLEY: This is True Love. You think this happens every day?

Throughout the film there are numerous mentions of the fact that the love between Westley and Buttercup is not only strong, but unique. It's a habit of fairytales to act like nobody ever loved anyone before its romantic leads came along. A bit unfair to all of those other great, unsung love stories out there, but whatcha gonna do?

INIGO: I swear, on the soul of my father, Domingo Montoya, you will reach the top alive.

We tend to think only of W & B's relationship when it comes to the matter of love, but they're not the only ones with hearts beating in their chests. This one kinda mirrors the love between the grandfather and the grandson, in that it's more of the familial sort. But just consider how much love it must take to devote your entire life to avenging the death of someone you haven't seen in 20 years.

WESTLEY: Death cannot stop True Love. All it can do is delay it for a while.

While probably not scientifically accurate, it's a sweet sentiment. All young lovers think their love and passion are eternal. They haven't had to watch each other flossing their teeth every day or listen to the same story for the millionth time.

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