Death In The Princess Bride

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According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, the definition for the word death is “a permanent cessation of all vital functions.” This does not have any bad or scary connotation to the word, yet the word brings a sense of grief and gloom to those affected. Death of a loved or a close one is definitely a hard obstacle to overcome as it represents the end of one 's life on this earth. However, I argue that death does not necessarily have to be all demoralizing as it brings more than just sadness and loneliness. As can be seen in the works of The Princess Bride and “Lancelot the Knight of the Cart”, death itself represents the quest through multiple stages of a hero’s journey, bringing a new dimension of life that does not simply mean the end. …show more content…
Actually, death plays such a significant role that the heroes are often shaped by death and they bring a form of it with him or her in their quests. One character that death has a strong impact on is the protagonist, Westley. In his journey, death appears as the abyss stage, and he encounters it twice in the movie. The first time he enters this stage is when he encounters the Dread Pirate Roberts, when he was captured in an attempt to amass a fortune to marry Buttercup (Reiner 42:50). In her work, Molly Kaushal analyzes a hero through all the stages of the hero’s cycle, and in the abyss stage, she describes how the hero reacts in the the most critical moment of his or her journey. “Very often he brings back a part of this world along with him and thereby successfully establishes a quasi harmony between the two domains” (69). The two domains Kaushal mentioned represent both the world where the hero originated from and the abyss the hero is currently situated in. As Westley explained himself in the story, he pleaded to the pirate that he needed to live for his true love Buttercup. On the brink of death, he brings his love and his old life to the dark realm as Kaushal explained. Likewise, as Westley returns to rescue Princess Buttercup, he appears as the new Dread Pirate Roberts, bringing a new arsenal of experience and knowledge with him. These include the knowledge of …show more content…
Through multiple groups in the study, the overall conclusion was that death does in fact have a significant connection, adding that death “may promote a sense of meaning in life” (1462). This research claims that death does not necessarily mean the end. This idea is further supported through Westley’s line, “Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while” (Reiner 40:10). This shows that death is simply just an obstacle that can be conquered. Through the journeys of Westley and Inigo in The Princess Bride and Lancelot in “Lancelot the Knight of the Cart”, death plays a multiple roles other than the usual role of the end as death is linked to starting a new phase for multiple characters on multiple occasions. In others, they represent obstacles or boundaries that divide the familiarity and the unknown. All in all however, death shapes and completes the journey of the characters, bringing more than simply the ending. Although it may signify the end of one life, it often represents a beginning of another, and helps cherish how truly special life is. Death is not so much a destination, but rather part of the

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