In The Princess Bride, at the very end, the Grandson asks the Grandfather to come back and read the story again. The Grandfather replies, "As you wish," which seems very sweet but not particularly dramatic—until you remember what was said earlier: "When he said 'As you wish,' what he meant was 'I love you.' "
The famous I Am Not Left-Handed scene. Why does Westley take the sword in his left hand to start with? Well, in fencing, lefties have a natural advantage against righties simply because few people train to fence against lefties. When a lefty fences a lefty they are both used to fencing against righties, hence both have a disadvantage. BUT if you are a lefty who has experience against other lefties, then you would be at an advantage against a lefty who had mainly trained against righties. So clearly Westley had experience fighting against lefties as a lefty and used his left hand in order to cancel out Inigo's advantage. —Lawyer Dude
I don't know if this makes this less brilliant/logical or not, but, as both men are absolute masters of the fencing art, could it be simply that, to give their opponent a chance (albeit just a sliver of a chance), each man took what was his "weak" hand, that being the left. As Fezzik might say, "It's more sportsmanlike". — wacomason
They were both explicitly stretching it out in the book, as well as feeling out their opponent more thoroughly.
Considering they were both masters of fencing, how did Westley and Inigo not realize that the other was not left handed. This is especially true on Westley's part as Inigo sits in front of him for several moments with his sword sheathed on his LEFT hip; drawing it with his right both to show the blade to Westley during his story and again before transferring the sword to his left before the duel fights. Any trained swordsman would know that your sword is generally worn opposite your dominant hand. Westley averts this in that his sword was slung behind his back (and he began to draw it with his left hand by reaching behind him) though this was probably due to climbing the cliffs.
Who's to say Westley didn't know? He didn't seem too surprised in the movie at least (I forget if that was touched on in the book).
Vizzini actually gets it right during the Battle of Wits: neither cup is safe. Sure, he might just be stalling, but it actually seems like he figures it out when you stop to think about it.
Wesley got him with Exact Words. Remember, he said, "Where is the poison?" not "Which cup has the poison?" Vizzini just assumed that one cup was poisoned since he knew the Man in Black was trying to kill him, but also take the princess.
It gets better when you realize that all of the implication that both cups are poisoned are in his body language, not his words. Everything he says is Exact Words, but what he does - switching the cups around before putting them on the table - implies that one or the other has it.
The point is Vizzini doesn't figure it out—he might get it right, but he doesn't realize it.
I never quite got Vizzini's strategy in the Battle of Wits. I mean, okay, so he's not as clever as he thinks, but still, what kind of plan is "come up with some convoluted reason why the cup was his or Westley's"? Even switching the cups wouldn't matter in that case, really. But then I realized two things: first, all his pre-choice ramblings were really an attempt to get Westley to reveal something, even subconsciously - but Westley could afford to be completely serene and confident, since he knew he would win either way. Second, of course, Vizzini waits until Westley takes a good long chug from his goblet before he takes a sip (while smirking). Plan A having failed, he switched the cups and decided just to see what Westley would do, sure that his opponent hadn't noticed. (Although I am pretty sure Westley took his time "looking in the other direction".) of course, he completely failed to realize that his blunder was simple - in a fight to the death, never let your opponent choose the rules.
The book includes a scene where Vizzini seems to be telepathically reading Buttercup's thoughts, but the implication is that he simply has a gift for figuring out what people are thinking by examining body language and the like. I believe that was his strategy in the Battle of Wits—that he would go back and forth on where he claims the poison is located, and basically wear Westley down (since Westley knows the poison's location) until his body language betrays him. Westley recognizes this when he says, "You're trying to trick me into giving away something."
The Awesome Moments page notes that after Inigo Montoya got his Heroic Second Wind, he took control of the duel so thoroughly that he was able to give Count Rugen exactly the same wounds Rugen gave him. You know what else happened during that fight? When Inigo makes Rugen promise him everything, Rugen does so ... and attempts to attack Inigo as he does. "You son of a bitch" indeed.
Miracle Max takes a look at Westley, raises Westley's hand and allows it to crash back on the table with a definitive thump. No life there. Max then proceeds to say that he's "seen worse" and that his friend is only mostly dead. In fact, Max just performed the Hand Drop Test. An unconscious (or dead) person's hand will fall into the face. If you're not unconscious, your hand will fall by your side (usually, but there are fakers). So Max knew that Westley wasn't dead, or even unconscious for that matter.
But Westley is unconscoius. For that matter, he's also dead, but only mostly. Maybe in-universe the book mentions Max performing the Hand Drop Test, but the hand falling to the side (which indicates consciousness) was what little Billy imagined.
Inigo's "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means," and, "Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up," seem as though he's really quite preoccupied with minor details of word choice, but considering the fact he seems to be struggling with the local language, it probably makes sense that he's a bit pedantic. When he learned Florinese or whatever language it is they're all supposed to be speaking, he probably learned that it would be incorrect to claim you are "explaining" when it's really more like a "summary", etc.
Which might be part of why he plays the rhyme game with Fezzik- he's practicing.
His "you keep using that word" line is actually profound. Vizzini is using the word "inconceivable" to mean something like "impossible," but what it really means is that he can't conceive of it—that is, it shows the limits of his imagination. I think that's what Inigo is implying.
To explain how smart he is, Vizzini describes Plato, Aristotle, and Socrates as "morons." Maybe if he had spent some time studying the Ancient Greeks instead of belittling them, he would have learned about the art of building immunity to poison.
When Westley made his To the Pain speech, it seemed he was only trying to intimidate Humperdink, but since he's a quick healer, he was stalling for time until his body was healed enough for him to stand.
Westley's Vizzini Gambit is actually a Xanatos Gambit. Consider that he tells Vizzini at the start, "Inhale this but do not touch." Not "smell," "inhale." Chemists know that the proper way to smell unknown or potentially dangerous substances is to waft the scent towards them, never to inhale. Even if Vizzini had chosen not to play Westley's game at all, he still could have died from the poison entering his lungs, especially given that Westley implies that it's poisonous even if it only contacts skin.
Westley is the good guy, but how many innocent sailors has he killed while being the Dread Pirate Roberts?
It's implied that the Dread Pirate Roberts is more about reputation than anything. The whole point of the name was to get the crews of enemies to surrender, rather than fight. The idea is, "If you fight, we kill you all, no exceptions. If you surrender, we take your stuff."
Possible Fridge Brilliance here. Apparently, medieval pirates would often attack ships near coasts. The victim crew (especially if they had no financial interest in the ship) would often just abandon the ship rather than fight the pirates. If the pirates never lost or took prisoners, they'd be even more likely to just give them the ship.
The reason for the numerous killings is so that, when the title of Dread Pirate Roberts is passed on, there will be no one who could recognize that the new DPR isn't the same one that held up their ship before. Westley likely has a bodycount in the hundreds, if not thousands, in order to maintain the charade.
It's explicitly stated that when Westley was trained, they put the crew off at the next port and hired new ones. In an era before cameras and TV, the odds of a random sailor crossing your path and figuring out your secret are pretty low. Plus, it's one crew in five years, there's not a lot of people out there who could identify him.
This Troper always got a chuckle out of Buttercup rolling downhill after Wesley when she shoved him down after realizing it was him, primarily because she could easily have just ran after him. But then, while watching the ex-reviewer formerly known as VixenOfNine's review of the film he remembered a certain line from that scene: "You mocked me once, never do it again! I died that day! And you can die too for all I care!" Give up? She expected the fall to kill him, meaning that when she sent herself falling after him she was hoping to kill herself too!
The book lessens this one considerably: Westley doesn't say "As you wish" until he is at the bottom of the ravine, and is pulling off his mask — not when he is in the process of tumbling down. So when Buttercup launches herself after him, she knows it's not a deadly fall.
Humperdinck wants the crown and to take over the world. So, he plots to start a war with his enemies by framing them for the murder of his wife. It doesn't seem that far off from him wanting the crown by slowly killing his own father, using a poison like mercury to drive him to slow insanity. The reason he got rid of Miracle Max? So Max cannot discover the truth of his heinous crimes.