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The Princess Bride

William Goldman

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Buttercup

Buttercup

Buttercup's motivation before she falls in love with Westley and then after she believes Westley dead, is virtually nil. She moves complacently through her days, certain that she will never feel passion for anything or anyone again, but willing to go through the routines and rituals involved in becoming queen. The greatest factor in her decisions is a simple preference of life over death—she marries Humperdinck instead of opting for death, and she jumps into the shark-infested water rather than have her throat slit by Vizzini. Once she loses Westley after the Fire Swamp, she spends the rest of the story desperately trying to bring him back. In her essence, Buttercup is a common girl who also happens to be bold, passionate, and uncommonly beautiful, and in the end it is her beauty that moves the men who move the plot, not her wits or courage. The Buttercup in the book is less guarded, less rational, and more extreme but also charming.

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