Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Princess Bride


Not only was Rob Reiner's The Princess Bride (1987) a great watch, but it is also packed with characters who seem to have an interesting set of ethics. Westley begins as the farmboy on Buttercup's farm. The two fall in love with each other until Westley must leave her to go after his fortune. Buttercup hears that he was killed by the dreaded Pirate Roberts, but he actually became Pirate Roberts. Thinking Westley is dead, Buttercup moves away and is to be wed to Prince Humperdink, a egotistical and power hungry prince who is ready for his father to die so the throne can be his own. In his quest to find Buttercup, Westley joins forces with the three characters above, Fezzik the giant, Vizzini the short bald guy, and Indigo Montoyo, the sword-wielding Spaniard looking to seek revenge for his father's murder. Indigo lives his entire life looking for the 6-fingered man who killed his father and gave him scars on his face.

Each of these characters has their own moral motivation. It appears that Westley and Buttercup essentially live solely to be together. At the end, before Buttercup realizes Westley is in the room with her, she tries to kill herself because she cannot be with him and is stuck with Humperdink. But sometimes Westley's sarcastic carefree tone makes him appear to be an ethical egoist. But he does certainly seem to love her. Humperdink is completely an ethical egoist and does everything for his own appearance and to feel more powerful. He seems to be a ruthless man that will do anything for himself. Fezzik is a carefree character who seems to simply be happy to be free. I would say that he values loyalty because he looks out for his friends and even sticks with Vizzini, who is terrible to him, because he knows that Vizzini had once helped him out. Indigo Montoya is motivated by revenge, courage, honor, and loyalty. Some may tell him to forget about his father's death and put it behind him, but he lives his entire life for the quest of revenge. Whether or not the revenge is cold blooded and evil, he is courageous in his final victorious battle, when he fights after being stabbed by the six-fingered man. This is just a few of the characters and just a glimpse of their morals and ethics behind their actions. I strongly suggest watching The Princess Bride to whoever hasn't seen it.

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