There is a short list of films that have become a part of our family culture, and The Princess Bride is on that list. We all quote from it and we each understand what the other means by such quotes.
Mr. Besilly has a charming list of 10 Life Lessons from The Princess Bride. I can’t improve upon his list so I asked his permission to share it here as it appears on his own blog.
1. It’s possible, with the right strategy, to best a giant.
2. Outsmarting the one who thinks he is smartest of all is not inconceivable. Pride creates vulnerability.
3. Don’t believe everything you hear. It appears people can actually survive the fire-swamp.
4. The obvious bad guy isn’t always the bad guy, but a reputation can be bigger than reality.
5. Reciting your name and life’s purpose with passion to everyone you meet can gain you the resources you need to reach your goal. Plus win you a few lifelong friends along the way.
6. Good fighting is as much about style as it is about skill. Add style to your skills because style is more fun to watch.
7. The six fingered man was wicked then and he’s wicked now. Pay attention to track records they tell a true story.
8. There is such a thing as true love if you are willing to fight to the death for it.
9. Having a great gift for rhyme can bring levity during a difficult time… I mean it. Anybody want a peanut? A sense of humor is priceless.
10. Fairy tales are a great reminder that happy endings are possible if you believe in them. We sacrifice for those things we believe in.
In his essay, “On Faerie Stories,” Tolkien is said to compare fairy tales to the story of the Gospel.
I tend to agree: the damsel in distress, endangered and oppressed, is rescued by her Knight in Shining Armor. The ending is always happy but never comes quickly or easily. First comes seeming failure and hopelessness, followed in the end by victory over the enemy and euphoric joy in their reunion. Tolkien even coined a word for the turning point, in which apparent defeat becomes glorious victory: eucatastrophe
Is it just me, or does this storyline sound strikingly familiar to you too?
BTW, I’ve looked for Tolkien’s essay but haven’t seen it. Anybody got a peanut?