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Archetypes within The Princess Bride

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Jonathan Vaughan Ms Crow PVCC English 112 28 March 2010 Archetypes within The Princess Bride William Goldman effectively incorporates numerous archetypes within his novel to further entice the reader into the plot. Goldman practices the use of three archetypes in particular: numbers, colors, and the wise old man. The numbers three and six are used as symbols of power and evil respectively. Moreover, the color black is used to show mystery and the wise old man is sought after when the protagonist is disheartened and lost his way. The few, most important characters within the novel possess these strong archetypes. Through the incorporation of these archetypes, Goldman creates more complex characters that compliment a familiar yet ever twisting plot. The number three is a symbol of power that has a resounding influence on the novel. ...read more.


His six fingers are a physical representation of the pure evil that lives in his body. The evil number six has left a physical mark on the Count, but more importantly, dictates his actions. Count Ruben is such a malevolence man that he even takes personal pleasure in torturing others. The man studies and practices torture like an art form. Rugen's evil is further exemplified when he killed Domingo Montoya merely to attain a sword he desired. Count Rugen's six fingers are what define him physically and his evil actions define him as a person. The number six represents evil and seems to swim in the blood of the Count. Black is the archetypal symbol of mystery and this is evident throughout The Princess Bride. For a large part of the novel, the protagonist is a mysterious masked man in black robes. ...read more.


After his rebirth, Westley is even more driven and manages to succeed in rescuing Buttercup. Thanks to the wise old man's aid, our hero can continue his journey and save the day. Much like other wise old men, Magical Max is seen as a great mentor and lives to help others pursue their goals. Without his limitless knowledge the plot could not continue. This archetype is a very familiar sight within fiction and plays an immense role within the story line of the novel. Although archetypes are simple, they offer an extra depth to the characters and the plot. They give simple details such as two numbers and a color more meaning. Through the effective use of archetypes the reader can delve into fiction that is exciting and new yet reminiscently familiar. Recognizable characters such as the wise old man give structure and consistency to new entertaining plot twists. Altogether, Goldman effectively uses archetypes to stimulate the readers' interests and keep them turning pages. Vaughan 3 ...read more.

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