Artboard Created with Sketch. Close Search Dialog
! Error Created with Sketch.

The Princess Bride

Chapter Eight

Summary Chapter Eight

Goldman's detail and precision during this chapter makes us aware of the expedient resourcefulness of the characters and the essentially perfect timing of the castle break-in. It also makes the ending unrealistic, as William Goldman points out to us. This is important for the same reason that this story always juxtaposes romance and mythology and beautiful timing with mundane imperfection: to show that even in a perfect tale of heroism, nothing can be justifiably predicted. Even if Inigo, Fezzik, Westley and Buttercup make the escape of a lifetime, this does not guarantee that all will end well. Once again William Goldman teaches his readers to expect to be surprised.

The ending William's father read to him involves a simple "happily ever after," but he tells us that the original Morgenstern story does not. Things go wrong and the ending remains unconcluded, leaving it to us, the reader, to bring these characters to life and decide what to do with them. William Goldman decides that the characters do live for quite some time, quite happily. Of course aging and losing their hearing and getting into arguments, but on the whole, redeeming all the work they went through in the book to achieve some greater ending joy.

In the introduction, William Goldman challenged his readers by saying that whatever we do with this book will be of more than passing interest. He returns to this here, giving us the ending the way he wants it to it to end. We must be aware during this last bit of what he is telling us: this ending is not correct, but rather his interpretation of S. Morgenstern's work. Knowing what we do, that S. Morgenstern is William Goldman, leaves us to speculate on the nature of the book as a whole. We have to consider Goldman's reasons for creating a text within a text, and furthermore the reason for directly challenging and changing that aforementioned text. This is the major aspect of The Princess Bride, and the question that William Goldman leaves us to decide for ourselves.