The Princess Bride
The Mythgard Academy takes on another icon of the modern fantasy world as we discuss William Goldman’s The Princess Bride. Goldman insists, of course, that he has merely put together an “abridgment” of the national epic of Florin (that thriving European nation rich with history and tradition which you can easily find right across the channel from Guilder), which was penned by its (incontestably) most widely heralded author, S. Morgenstern.
The titular princess and bride is, of course, Buttercup, who finds herself subjected to the attentions of the inimical Prince Humperdinck. The prince kidnaps Buttercup – via the good-naturedly nefarious ne’er-do-well mercenaries Vizzini, Fezzik and Inigo Montoya – so as to marry her and entrench his position as the next ruler of Florin. His carefully laid plans are foiled, however, by the Dread Pirate Roberts, whose dreadful and piratical ways are quite legendary, even nearing mythological. What ensues is nothing short of adventurous diversions complete with sword fights, mental sport, and several deaths (not to mention one nearly death).
Of course, all of these things are tangential to the original story, which was primarily about the culture of Florin. Sadly, the only surviving version of the story is the one abridged by Goldman, so we must make do with what we have. Fortunately, it was later made into a much more bearable movie, which we will also cover in this series.
The Princess Bride is available from Amazon. It can be purchased in hardcover, paperback or electronic formats.
A Message from Dr. Corey Olsen
As part of the Mythgard Academy series, the seminar open to the public. The first 100 participants for each session are able to participate in the discussion live, and both video and audio recordings of the sessions will be available on this web page, through the Mythgard podcast feed, on YouTube and on iTunes U.
Like all Mythgard Academy seminars, these discussions are made possible by the generosity of everyone who supported our fundraising campaign last fall. The topics of our Academy classes are nominated and elected entirely by our generous donors.
If you missed our fundraising campaign but would still like to take part in our class voting process to decide our future topics for the rest of the year, it isn’t too late! Visit our donation page and help support our free classes!
– Dr. Corey Olsen
The Princess Bride seminar originally took place from May 13 – June 10, 2015, on Wednesday evenings.
Week 1: Goldman and Morgenstern
Read: Introduction, Chapters 1-3
Week 2: True Love
Read: Chapters 4-5
Week 3: The True Heroes
Read: Chapters 6-8
Week 4: What This Book Says
Week 5: The Film, Part 1
Watch: The Film
Week 6: The Film, Part 2
Watch: The Film (again!)