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The Princess Bride

William Goldman

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Westley

Westley

Westley is motivated entirely by his love for Buttercup. He explains to her in chapter one that everything he does, he does to please her: "I have taught myself languages because of you. I have made my body strong because I thought you might be pleased by a strong body." Throughout the story, his love-directed motivation encompasses many other ends, and he learns everything the world can teach him, with the sole hope that it might one day prove useful in reclaiming his beloved. Thus, after his tryst with the Dread Pirate Roberts, he returns to Florin about to do everything with a godlike perfection. He can duel better than Inigo. He can wrestle better than Fezzik. He can reason better than Vizzini. He can live through Count Rugen's death machine. He can intimidate the over-confident Prince Humperdinck. In short, he is the ideal man, just as Buttercup is the ideal woman, despite their imperfections.

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What drives Buttercup’s decisions for most of the story?
Her love for Westley
Her desire to live
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