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Persuasive Writing with Inigo Montoya

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Sun Sep 02, 2007 5:15 am
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Snoink says...

For those who are not familiar with "The Princess Bride," it is a good movie complete with plenty of fight scenes, a bit of romance, and everything you'd want in a movie. Well... the soundtrack could be better, but I'm not complaining.

In it, there is one persistant swordsman who is out to kill a particular man. Finally, when he faces him, the swordsman keeps repeating, “My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die.” Then, with a spring in his step, he lunges for the kill. The other guy steps back, blocking his attack, but Inigo is persistant. After a while, Inigo parries and (admittedly) is almost killed, but just when it seems like all hope is lost, he comes back again! With a killing stroke, the bad guy lays dead and Inigo Montoya is victorious.

So... what does this have to do with persuasive writing?

Let's outline it again.

Introduction: “My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die.”

Inigo says what he wants quite directly. He tells the bad guy who he is, why he is fighting him, and what he's going to do with him. A perfect thesis! So, when coming up with your thesis, think of these three questions.

Who are you? Why are you writing? What do you want your words to do?

This is your thesis.

Body: Strike him!

Inigo Montoya isn't just all talk. He also is going to do something. He strikes the bad guy several times -- right where it hurts. And, right as the battle is going on, Inigo keeps on repeating, “My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die.”

In the case of persuasive writing, you're going to go against an idea or something else that you disagree with, in one form or another. So, just like Inigo, strike your opposition where it hurts. Give details, facts, information, that can cripple your opposition in one form of another. And remember... while this battle is on, don't forget your thesis statement.

Defense: Parry!

Inigo didn't just strike! Right after he was injured, to the point where he was almost crippled, he began defending himself. In a sword fight, the way you defend yourself is by blocking off the opposition's attacks.

In this case, if you talk too much on your side, people are going to begin to doubt you -- a crippling blow! So instead, defend yourself against your opposition's flashiest attacks.

Conclusion: The Killing Blow!

Finally, Inigo wins. Stronger now than ever, he slays his opponent. But before he kills him, he says once more, “My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die.”

Conclude it. By all your arguments, you have come out stronger than ever. Now, remember your thesis and end the paper.

Good luck...
Ubi caritas est vera, Deus ibi est.

"The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls the butterfly." ~ Richard Bach

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Sat Sep 15, 2007 5:48 pm
Rydia says...

Hehe. I love this film. In fact, I was watching it the other day and Inigo is easily my favourite character. I'd never thought about him in terms of writing though Some good tips here Snoink!
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Wed Sep 01, 2010 5:01 pm
Kelcia says...

Wow, awesome way of putting it! I'll have to send this to my English teacher... ;)
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Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:09 am
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Pencil2paper says...

The best movie and the best guide to persuasive writing ever. Inigo Montoya is one of my favorite characters ever.
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Sat Feb 16, 2013 6:28 pm
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Audy says...

I think he was my first crush as a kid :3

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Sun Feb 17, 2013 2:41 am
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kayfortnight says...

My brother says impossible way too often and I respond with "I don't think that word means what you think it means." LOL.
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