Introduction to the 30th Anniversary Edition
While it is not necessary for you to read the introduction to enjoy the novel, if you've seen the movie The Princess Bride, this first introduction does give the reader some interesting insights into the filming of the novel.
Below is Andre the Giant as Fezzik. (This annotation contains an image)
Introduction to the 25th Anniversary Edition
If you've read the first introduction, there is a literary term which needs to be introduced--conceit. "Originally used as a synonym for 'idea' or 'concept,' conceit refers to a particularly fanciful figurative device that's intended to surprise and delight readers by its cleverness and wit." At this point, the reader needs to know that the entire idea of the Morgenstern original of the novel The Princess Bride is one colossal conceit--it never existed. Goldman uses the conceit (and continues to narrate the entire novel through parenthetical comments) to draw the reader in and add humor and intrigue to the story, making it seem like the retelling of a "classic" tale which has existed for generations.
Watch the following video about point of view before answering the next question. (This annotation contains a video)
Based on textual evidence, from which point of view is The Princess Bride told?
Bronko Nagurski was a Canadian-born football player and professional wrestler who played for the Chicago Bears. (This annotation contains an image)
By the author's use of the word "parental," what is Goldman inferring about the way Miss Roginski feels about Goldman's first book?
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, "for a brief period from the 1930s through the early 1940s, public health advocates made pneumonia a leading public health concern." This was just previous to the advent of the widespread use of penicillin to treat pneumonia. According to the story, Goldman contracted pneumonia at a time when it was the leading infectious cause of death in the country.
Keep in mind that Goldman's conceit from the two introductions (the fact that S. Morgenstern wrote the original Princess Bride novel) is itself a fiction, so this story of Goldman's illness and introduction to the novel is also fictional.
Use the Internet to research different genres of novels. Based on your research, which genre is Goldman describing here? Use textual evidence to support your answer.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is a 1969 American Western film directed by George Roy Hill and written by William Goldman. Based loosely on fact, the film tells the story of Wild West outlaws Robert LeRoy Parker, known to history as Butch Cassidy and his partner Harry Longabaugh, the "Sundance Kid" as they migrate to Bolivia while on the run from the law in search of a more successful criminal career. Watch the video below to see the iconic cliff jumping scene from the movie. (This annotation contains a video)
The highlighted phrase is an example of which literary device?
An excellent close reading technique is to use context clues to define unfamiliar words in a text. For example, here Goldman is describing his encounter with a movie star. Using the context clues from this paragraph, come up with a definition for the word "ogling." Then check your guess by clicking on the 'Define' feature that pops up when you highlight a word.
The expression "baseball age" is used to refer to the age a baseball player claims to be, as opposed to his real age. It was quite common until the 1960s, and until 2001 for Latin American players, for players to claim to be younger than they really were in order to appear to be more interesting prospects.
Which adjective best describes the personality trait revealed about the author in this paragraph?
"Mashuganah" is a Yiddish derogatory term for a person who is nonsensical, silly or crazy. Many times the vocabulary an author chooses to use for a character tells us a lot about the character. Think about what the use of this term tells us about this bookstore owner.
Sandy Sterling has been mentioned several times in this chapter, as has the possibility of a liaison between the author and this starlet. Would Goldman actually have followed through with his impulse to have an affair? Use textual evidence to justify your response.
Which word below best describes the tone that the author uses in this paragraph describing his son?
"Lech" as it is used here means to have a strong desire or craving for something. What context clues in this paragraph would have led you to this definition?
Note here Goldman's use of figurative language to turn December from a time period into a destination. If December really were a destination, what would it look like? What would it feel like? What would you do there?
The tragic flaw is a literary device which is frequently analyzed in great literature. The definition of a tragic flaw, also known as hamartia, is a personality trait of a main character that leads to his or her downfall. Many of Shakespeare's great tragic heroes, for example, have their own tragic flaws. As you read The Princess Bride, see if you can determine the tragic flaws in different characters.
Watch the following video on foreshadowing. Then infer why the author would be spending pages telling the reader about the most beautiful women in the world. (This annotation contains a video)
What had caused Adela to acquire wrinkles?
The belief that Buttercup has stolen the boys results in what emotion from the girls?
If the Land of Florin actually existed, it would be somewhere around the Denmark area. (This annotation contains an image)
In keeping with the original conceit, author William Goldman steps into the story on occasion and provides his own annotation for the "Morgenstern" story.
Note here that the Count changes topics from cows to children very quickly. What do you infer is the real reason for the Count's visit? Use textual evidence to support your answer.
Based on the choice of wording and sentence structure, what is the Countess' tone in this passage?
Re-read the highlighted quote. What does this quote imply about Buttercup's mother?
Note here how Buttercup discounts every positive attribute of the farm boy. Give a description of the farm boy using these attributes. Why do you think Buttercup refuses to see these as positive attributes? (This annotation contains an image)
Why did Buttercup spend the entire day crying and then tell Westley it was all a joke?
Note how "Morgenstern" frequently puts references to the time period in parentheses in the text. If this is "just after America," give an approximate year for the setting of The Princess Bride.
Note the comedic quality of this scene, as Buttercup has just tried to convince herself that Westley isn't the brightest. Apparently Buttercup also doesn't do well with symbolism.
If there was any doubt, this scene definitely supports the use of which universal idea in the story?
Goldman does an excellent job of arresting the attention of the reader by throwing in a shocking fact like Westley's death in such a matter-of-fact way.
According to the text, what is needed to make a woman truly beautiful?
Contrast the description of Prince Humperdinck given in this paragraph with the actor chosen to play Humperdinck in the movie version of The Princess Bride (Chris Sarandon). Why might the director have chosen to go in a different direction for the movie version of Prince Humperdinck? (This annotation contains an image)
Think about the idea of true love. What theme is the author introducing about true love here? What is the author's message about true love?
Note that some of the animals in the Prince's Death Zoo are real creatures and some are clearly fictional. Feel free to do research on any animals with which you are not familiar and find out if they do indeed exist.
Introduction - Chapter 2 Quiz
The verb "ferreting" comes from a reference to the animal known as a ferret. Historically, the main use of ferrets was for hunting, or ferreting. With their long, lean build, and inquisitive nature, ferrets are very well equipped for getting down holes and chasing rodents, rabbits and moles out of their burrows. Based on this reference, which definition would most closely match the way the term is used in this sentence?
Note how the Queen interprets the King's mumbles in this scene. Even though the author says she is the only one who tries to figure out what he is saying, his words and her interpretation are very different. Generally the interpretation is flattering to Prince Humperdinck. What insight might this give the reader into the relationship between the Queen and her step-son?
If this version of The Princess Bride did not exist, think about the ineffectiveness of dozens of pages spent on just packing and unpacking. If the reader isn't aware that the actual Morgenstern version is a fiction, they might be very grateful for Goldman's abridgment which leaves out those scenes!
Which of the following statements about the dinner scene is NOT true?
Make a prediction about what would have caused Prince Humperdinck to react in such a violent manner to Princess Noreena. Then continue reading to see if your prediction was correct.
Note that Prince Humperdinck's priorities have changed a bit. Initially he only wanted a wife who could hunt, but now he wants a beautiful wife instead. Clearly, Count Rugen is thinking of Buttercup as a match for Prince Humperdinck.
Which literary device is used in this paragraph?
How many handmaidens does Princess Buttercup have in total?
Note the author's comedic reference to the Biblical story of Adam and Eve. It is supposed that, because Eve was a woman and all women need hairdressers, Adam served as her hairdresser. The "King James scholars" are referring to those who were responsible for the King James version of the Bible, the first written in English, during the Renaissance.
Which three words on this page do you believe the author chose specifically to create a sense of suspense and danger? Explain how these words create this mood.
Perhaps the three men would look something like this: (This annotation contains an image)
Little is truly known about Homer, except that he wrote The Iliad and The Odyssey, and that he was considered the greatest of Greek epic poets. If something is considered "Homeric," it is epic and large-scaled. If Humperdinck's grief were Homeric, it would be of epic proportions. (This annotation contains an image)
Watch the following scene from The Princess Bride before answering the next question. (This annotation contains a video)
How does the video version of this scene compare and contrast with the novel? Use textual evidence to explain two similarities and two differences between the video and novel versions.
What common literary technique is exemplified by the highlighted phrase?
In this scene, we see an example of juxtaposition. In literature, juxtaposition is a useful device for writers to portray their characters in great detail to create suspense and achieve a rhetorical effect. It is a human quality to comprehend one thing easily by comparing it to another. Therefore, a writer can make readers sense “goodness” in a particular character by placing him or her side by side to a character that is predominantly “evil". Notice in this scene how the reader might expect size to correspond with degrees of violence. Goldman uses the juxtaposition of these two very different characters to reveal opposing character traits in each.
Which set of words in the highlighted phrase turns this into an example of hyperbole?
Which of the following is NOT a definition for "inconceivable"?
Click on the link below to watch the climb up the Cliffs of Insanity. (This annotation contains a video)
At this point, the author uses a flashback to fill in background information on Inigo's character. See the video below for more information on flashbacks. (This annotation contains a video)
How does Inigo's character illustrate the idea of true love? Use evidence from the text in your answer.
This line would lead us to believe that this scene has occurred before. If Inigo knew enough not to interrupt, then Yeste must have used this ploy many times to get Domingo to make him swords.
Why doesn't Domingo want people to know he made the jeweled sword?
Domingo had told Yeste, "Come to me sometime with a challenge." Clearly, his excitement would lead us to believe that he considers making a sword for a six-fingered man a challenge. But the reader has to wonder--if Domingo made this sword for the six-fingered man, how does Inigo now possess it?
If the reader was not aware of the cause of Domingo's erratic behavior, someone might think he was suffering from bipolar disorder. "People with bipolar disorder experience unusually intense emotional states that occur in distinct periods called "mood episodes." Each mood episode represents a drastic change from a person’s usual mood and behavior. An overly joyful or overexcited state is called a manic episode, and an extremely sad or hopeless state is called a depressive episode. Extreme changes in energy, activity, sleep, and behavior go along with these changes in mood. Does this sound like the behavior we've witnessed in Domingo? (This annotation contains a link)
Which adjective would best describe the behavior of the six-fingered man?
What is the one thing that the nobleman believes Inigo is lacking?
Make a prediction about what Inigo was referring to in his note. What did he have to learn?
Yeste just got done telling Inigo that he was no master swordsman. What is the message he is giving Inigo in this speech?
This is, perhaps, the most famous line in the entire movie. (This annotation contains a video)
Note here that Inigo is developing an alcohol problem. Go to the Mayo Clinic website and see if Inigo is showing symptoms of alcoholism or alcohol abuse. (This annotation contains a link)
Here the flashback finally ceases and we are back to the main action of the story once again.
What is the man in black implying by this comment?
Note here the reinforcement of one of the novel's themes--living as a person of honor. The man in black trusts that Inigo is a man of honor when Inigo swears by his father's soul that he will not let the man in black drop.
The man in black's use of the term "baggage" here when referring to Princess Buttercup is an example of which literary device?
If you are at all interested in sword fighting and the specific terminology that the author uses here, the blog below is a great reference to the accuracy (or lack) of the terminology in this scene. You can also watch a video link of the duel between Inigo and the man in black. (This annotation contains a link)
How does the author create a sense of tension and action in this scene? Choose two words that create the mood of the fight scene and explain what each word does to add to the structure of the scene.
How does the man in black support the theme of living as a person of honor in this scene? What might he have done if he weren't a person of honor?
Note that Fezzik jumps to a conclusion here. He assumes that, since the man in black is not dead, and the Sicilian told Inigo to kill the man in black, that Inigo must be dead instead.
Here was have another flashback, this time concerning Fezzik and his backstory. Incidentally, the largest American baby ever was 23 pounds 12 ounces. The largest American baby to be born in the last ten years was in Texas in 2011--he weighed in at 16 pounds 1 ounce. (This annotation contains an image)
Based on this latest parenthetical explanation, what can the reader infer about "Morgenstern's" opinion of doctors?
As a matter of fact, oil wrestling is the national sport in Turkey. Wrestlers douse themselves in olive oil before they wrestle each other. Click the link below to read more about the sport. (This annotation contains a link)
Since Fezzik had previously confessed to his parents his greatest fear, his parents are using what is called emotional blackmail to get him to do what they want, which is to fight.
Why would audiences who booed Fezzik when he fought one-on-one now be happy when he took on a whole group and won? Use textual evidence to support your answer.
Here we are back to the present again, and again we have support for our theme of living as a person of honor. So far this book seems to be populated with mostly honorable characters.
Which type of conflict is the author highlighting in this scene?
Click on the link below to watch the fight scene between Fezzik and the man in black. (This annotation contains a video)
Which of the following is a difference between the fight scene in the novel and the fight scene in the movie version of The Princess Bride?
Clearly someone has hired Vizzini and his partners to kill Princess Buttercup. Make a prediction about who would want Buttercup killed and why. (This annotation contains an image)
Using context clues, chose the best definition for the word "impasse" in this sentence.
Click the link below to watch the battle of wits between the man in black and Vizzini. Then answer the question that follows. (This annotation contains a video)
Look back over the written version of the battle of wits, particularly paying attention to the descriptions of the man in black during the contest. What difference in tone do you note between the novel version and the movie version of this scene?
An example of which literary device is contained in the highlighted sentence?
Note the man in black's tone in this section. It is clear that he holds no great love for the female gender through his sarcastic comments. (This annotation contains an image)
Who is the man in black? How do you know?
A "hand" in horse speak is 4 inches, so a horse 20 hands high would be 80 inches tall or around 6 feet 8 inches. Horses are measured from the withers (see circled area below) to the ground, and it would be extremely unusual for a horse to measure 20 hands high. (This annotation contains an image)
What is the author implying by comparing the Prince's legs to a metronome in this simile?
Through this scene, the Prince makes great use of inductive reasoning. Inductive reasoning (as opposed to deductive reasoning) is reasoning in which the premises seek to supply strong evidence for (not absolute proof of) the truth of the conclusion. While the conclusion of a deductive argument is supposed to be certain, the truth of the conclusion of an inductive argument is supposed to be probable, based upon the evidence given. The Prince is reaching incredibly accurate conclusions based on evidence only he can see.
Based on the author's explanation of why he didn't include the reunion scene, with which of the following statements would the author agree?
Despite Westley's use of terms such as "my precious" and "lovely," which term best describes his tone in this paragraph?
Wesley is absolutely correct about the difference between a syllable and a syllabub (see picture below). (This annotation contains an image)
Just to be clear, both Snow Sand and Lightning Sand will kill you. Thankfully, neither one exists in the real world.
Think about the four adjectives used to describe Westley in this sentence. Then, using textual evidence, explain which adjective best describes Westley and why.
Which adjective below best describes Westley's attitude when confronted with difficult tasks?
Note this surprising turn of events. Westley certainly didn't leave for the New World as the Dread Pirate Roberts. There must be an interesting story about how he BECAME Roberts rather than met his death at Roberts' hands. (This annotation contains an image)
The animal pictured here is a capybara, just to give you an idea of the size of the R.O.U.S. that Westley encountered.
(This annotation contains an image)
Obviously, the Fire Swamp R.O.U.S. is much more vicious and frightening looking than any similar creature actually living in the world today. (This annotation contains an image)
If we were to put the R.O.U.S. into a scientific classification, to which category would it belong? Look up any terms with which you are unfamiliar.
Read the rest of the paragraph and then choose the literary device which is highlighted in the paragraph.
Would things have turned out differently for Westley if Buttercup had made the Prince swear again? He had sworn that he would not harm Westley. If you were the Prince, how would you have worded a second oath which would have satisfied the Princess and yet meant Westley's punishment?
But the reader has encountered the six-fingered man before. He is the nobleman who killed Inigo's father.
(This annotation contains an image)
Watch the video below about characterization. Pay attention to the details that the author reveals about the characters to determine whether they are static or dynamic. (This annotation contains a video)
Based on the description in this paragraph, what type of character does Prince Humperdinck seem to be?
How are Fezzik's and Inigo's reactions to waking up alone similar and how are they different? Use textual evidence to support your answer.
According to Medical News Today, albinism is a genetic condition also called achromia, achromasia, or achromatosis. It is characterized by a deficit in the production in melanin and by the partial or complete absence of pigment in the skin, hair and eyes. This hereditary disease can be found in humans (affecting all races), mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians.
Why do you think the albino continues to shrug when it's clear that he can speak if he has to?
Why do the people think Buttercup married the Prince?
Note the details that this woman knows about Buttercup's escape from her kidnappers. If Humperdinck was willing to kill to keep everyone quiet who knew about Westley, then how does this old woman have all of this information?
Which of the following terms best describes this "lightbulb over the head" effect of understanding a concept?
Note the arguments being used by the babies in this paragraph and the next paragraph. The reader is aware of the events that have taken place to this point in the novel and can imagine that these are the man versus self internal conflicts that Buttercup is dealing with in the days leading up to the wedding with the Prince.
How would the murder of Buttercup initiate a war against Guilder and why would the Prince want to go to war against Guilder? Use textual evidence to support your answer.
This last paragraph answers many previously unanswered questions, the greatest of which are: who and why would someone want Buttercup assassinated? The Prince would undoubtedly say it was nothing personal, and indeed the Prince would be willing to have any prospective bride killed if it meant the possibility of defeating Guilder.
Which definition best fits with the type of distress which would interest Count Rugen?
Note the author's use of juxtaposition of characters in this instance to highlight the irony of the scene. The first time Westley and the albino encounter each other, it's Westley doing the shrugging and the albino doing the questioning.
Knowing what you do about the Prince, compose an interior monologue revealing what he is REALLY thinking as Buttercup goes on and on about how wonderful Westley is.
Why is the Prince interested in details about Westley?
A brute squad is a group of the toughest guys around, merciless, conscienceless heavies who beat people up in the service of a boss or king. Yellin is going to use these men to clear out the Thieves' Quarter and put all of the men in prison. Who did we last encounter in the Thieves' Quarter?
Which of the following statements is NOT true about Prince Humperdinck?
Click on the link to read the excerpt from Genesis Chapter 3 on the Serpent in the Garden of Eden to which the Count is referring. (This annotation contains a link)
The Count here uses a metaphor "..the Serpent was pain." Using textual evidence from the Biblical excerpt you read, explain how the Count's metaphor is accurate.
Click on the link below to see The Machine in action as the Count uses it on Westley. (This annotation contains a video)
Which of the following details from The Machine scene is the same in the novel and the movie versions?
Imagine you are Fezzik hearing this speech from around the corner.
Based on what you know of Inigo's character and present state of mind, do you think the Brute's trick described in this paragraph will work in apprehending Inigo? Why or why not?
Click on the link below to watch Fezzik's attempt to sober Inigo up. It's comedic to note that the narrator in the trailer says, "Fezzik took great care in reviving Inigo." The novel's descriptions of Inigo's immersion sound more painful than careful! (This annotation contains a video)
Which of the following statements is NOT true about Fezzik's experiences since Vizzini's death?
Which term best describes Inigo's tone when describing Count Rugen as "a terriffic fellow"?
The reader will note here that, even though he sees himself as a person who cannot plan, Inigo's deductions on this page are quite brilliant.
To which four ships is Buttercup referring?
Based on your knowledge of the Prince, what do you think is going through his mind at this moment?
Now that he knows what's coming, Billy's point of view is that he still wants to hear about the murder of Westley. Do you agree with him or would you rather have skipped to Inigo? Explain your choice.
If you remember back several chapters, the Prince had sworn an oath to Buttercup about Westley. Do you remember what it was? Look back at the end of the chapter "The Announcement" to refresh your memory.
Compare and contrast Westley's and Inigo's experiences with Ultimate Suffering. What is one way that they are similar and one way that they are different? Use textual evidence for support.
In the film version, Goldman cut the scene of the Zoo of Death and instead created the Pit of Death. Would you have made the same decision as the author? Read on to find the rest of the scene and see if the Zoo of Death would have been difficult to film.
Note that, while most people believe Fezzik to be all brawn and no brains (even Fezzik himself believes this), often Fezzik notices important details and makes significant connections between events. Watch for this character trait as the story builds to a climax.
Despite both Inigo and Fezzik saying that they aren't frightened, what word best describes the mood of this scene?
This is an example of the Orinoco anaconda. (This annotation contains an image)
And how would you like to find this African Rock python under your hood? The more important question is--why is the author mentioning these gigantic snakes? Could this be perhaps an example of foreshadowing what Inigo and Fezzik might encounter on the third level? (This annotation contains an image)
How does Inigo convince Fezzik to fight the giant snake?
What type of literary device does Goldman use to show Fezzik's terror?
When something is convenient, it is suitable or agreeable to the needs or purpose. Isn't it convenient that Inigo studied fencing with MacPherson, who prepared him to fight on inclines and without his eyesight?
Recluse spiders are nasty, but what they do when they bite you is even nastier! (This annotation contains an image)
Why would a reader consider this paragraph anticlimactic? Use textual evidence to support your answer.
The term Spick is a derogatory word for a person from a Spanish-speaking country in South or Central America or a Spanish-speaking community in the US. So this is definitely not a nice thing for Max to be calling Inigo. And it also begs the question--why would someone in Florin be using an American derogatory term?
Which sentence best summarizes Max's situation since his forced retirement?
Note here that, while Valerie won't confront Max about his lie, she instead uses very subtle powers of suggestion to get him to perform the miracle. By making a connection between the miracle and his favorite beverage, Valerie is suggesting that without one, the other will not exist.
Max lied both about the amount of money being offered for the miracle and about the reason for the miracle. Based on your knowledge of Max's character, why would he be lying about these things?
Miracle Max and Inigo contribute to which major idea in the novel?
An oracle is "any person or thing believed to indicate future action with infallible authority." Max would like to consult the local oracle to see into the future; he'd like a little insurance that his cure was actually going to be successful.
Derring-do are heroic deeds. Inigo and Fezzik, even though they've already braved the Zoo of Death and paid for a miracle for the man in black, need to gather certain magical items for Max to use in the resurrection pill.
If something is anachronistic, it is something that belongs or seems to belong to another time. What Goldman's producer is saying is that bifocals aren't correct to the time period of the movie. Goldman successfully argues that bifocals were indeed around long before the time period of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, which would be the late 1800s.
Click the link below to see the movie version of the Miracle Max scene. (This annotation contains a video)
Contrast the tone of the novel version of this scene with the tone of the movie version. How does the tone differ between the two? Give textual evidence for support.
Which word best explains Yellin's mood at the constantly conflicting reports he is hearing from the Prince and from the rest of his contacts?
When Inigo and Fezzik encounter the albino, Inigo instructs Fezzik to "quiet him for a while." As a reader you can infer that this means that Fezzik killed the albino.
Clearly Miracle Max had nothing to worry about--his skills were as sharp as ever. The resurrection pill worked immediately, at least on the mouth and brain.
After hearing all of the pros and cons, Westley comes up with his analysis of the situation--impossible. Using textual evidence, come up with your own analysis of the outcome of Inigo's plan.
What does Westley propose using as part of his plan to rescue Buttercup and defeat the Prince?
A holocaust is a fire that causes total destruction, so it stands to reason that a holocaust cloak would be flammable, and also be able to protect the wearer from fire. (This annotation contains an image)
Click to watch the wedding ceremony from the movie, then answer the question that follows. (This annotation contains a video)
Which of the following best describes Buttercup's emotions at the end of the marriage scene in the movie and in the novel?
Fezzik could definitely use some training in positive self-talk. Click on the link below to read about seven steps to positive self talk. (This annotation contains a link)
If Westley did know he had only 7 minutes left, what would he choose to do? Use textual evidence and your knowledge of the character to support your answer.
Based on this speech and your knowledge of the character, what type of character would you say Count Rugen is?
Note here that, when Inigo is in trouble, he calls upon the voices of some of his greatest teachers and influences for strength. His father and his teacher MacPherson both give him the will to keep fighting. When you need the strength to go on, what is your inspiration?
Click to see one of the best action sequences in The Princess Bride: (This annotation contains a video)
What changes or additions to the movie version of the scene does the director use to heighten the intensity of the scene?
As you watch the movie version of this scene, note as in the last scene with Inigo, how the director uses music to heighten the intensity of the scene. (This annotation contains a video)
Based on what we know of Prince Humperdinck, why did he surrender?
Inigo praises Fezzik for thinking ahead in this scene, but if we look back over the course of the novel, we can find numerous instances where Fezzik took action which saved other characters. (This annotation contains an image)
Would you rather end the book with "Oh my Westley, so do I" or with another series of unfortunate events and a cliffhanger? Explain your choice.
Use the link below to read the short story "The Lady or the Tiger" and compare it to the ending of The Princess Bride. What do the two have in common? (This annotation contains a link)
BUTTERCUP’S BABY: AN EXPLANATION
The existence of a subsequent novel called Buttercup's Baby by S. Morgenstern is fictional, as is this entire post-script explanation. Goldman goes into a long explanation of trying to write and publish the reunion scene between Buttercup and Westley and the legal problems he had with the Morgenstern estate and their lawyer. While Goldman's continued conceit is interesting, it does not have an impact on the content of The Princess Bride. However, if you are interested in reading the post-script, some explanatory annotations are included to clarify the content.
Peter Lorre (left) played one of three unscrupulous characters in search of a jewel-encrusted falcon statue in the movie The Maltese Falcon. (This annotation contains an image)
An elision is a deliberate omission of something. Here Goldman is explaining that he cut much more out of the "original" Princess Bride manuscript than we were first aware.
I think we can ALL relate to a time when we felt like outsiders. A quarter of us have also been bullied at some time in our lives. (This annotation contains an image)
Click the link to view the dentist scene in Marathon Man, from the novel of the same name by Goldman. (This annotation contains a video)
The following is "the scene that still works best" from Marathon Man. (This annotation contains a video)
If you've read any Stephen King novels, you know he is NOT one to abridge even himself. In fact, when his novel The Stand was published, his editor made him cut out about 300 pages, and it was STILL over 800 pages. When it was a success, he went back and published an uncut edition that restored the book to its original 1152 pages.
Having read the ending of The Princess Bride, try writing your own next chapter. What do YOU think happens to Westley and Buttercup? To Inigo and Fezzik? Try to capture the "Morgenstern" style in your continuation of The Princess Bride. Then, if you're interested, read the first chapter of the fictional novel Buttercup's Baby to see if you and "Morgenstern" had the same ideas.