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Analyse the characters of Shrek and Lord Farquaad and write about how the makers of the film use different presentational devices to create an unusual fairy tale.

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Introduction

In this essay I am going to analyse the characters of Shrek and Lord Farquaad and write about how the makers of the film use different presentational devices to create an unusual fairy tale. In traditional fairy tales, Ogres are man-eating beasts. The Prince usually kills the Ogre, rescues the Princess, marry and live happily ever after. In 'Jack and the Beanstalk', Jack's mother is the heroine as she cuts down the beanstalk and kills the Giant whereas the Giant is the beast trying to eat Jack. In Snow White, the evil character is Snow White's 'Evil' Step-Mother and the Prince is the hero who rescues Snow White. In Shrek, the roles are reversed using presentational devices so that Shrek (the Ogre) is soon seen as the sensitive hero and the Prince as the evil selfish beast. Language is an important device, and I am going to write about how language can create the impression of good and evil in both characters and films. The film 'Shrek' opens with Shrek reading out a fairy tale making you believe that he is the narrator and the film is going to be a traditional fairy tale but the scene is soon turned into a gag when Shrek uses the story book as toilet paper. This is different to a conventional fairy tale as it is more comical. The opening suggests that the film will be comical and there will be many gags about traditional fairy tales. Viewers would be surprised as fairy tales have never been 'taken the mick of' like in Shrek. ...read more.

Middle

Lord Farquaad calls off the wedding, but he still proclaims himself King. Lord Farquaad is deceptive because he should only be king if he marries a Princess. He wanted to marry a Princess only so he could become king and have power and authority. When a director is making a film it is important that he/she uses a variety of camera angles to create certain effects. At the beginning of the film, Shrek scares the storybook characters away by roaring at them. There is a close up of Shrek's face to show his scary expression. Close up shots are also useful for focusing the viewer's attention on the characters emotions. An example of when a close up is effective is when Shrek and Princess Fiona have their romance scene. Close ups of thier facial expressions show that they are in love. Tension is created when Lord Farquaad is introduced. Instead of focusing on his face, the camera shows parts of his upper body and his feet. This suggests that he is a big important Prince as it shows close ups of him striding along very proudly. When Shrek visits Lord Farquaad's castle, the camera moves from ground level and then upwards to reveal his tower. It is useful because it makes Lord Farquaad seem big and Shrek and Donkey appear small. Low angle shots are effectively used because they show Lord Farquaad looking down on Shrek and Donkey whereas in the tournament scene they show Shrek looking up to Lord Farquaad who is sitting high in his seat. ...read more.

Conclusion

Donkey turns the tournament scene into a comedy because of his fighting techniques. The tournament shows us Shrek's power of being a real Ogre as he easily beats Lord Faquaad's best knights but he becomes the 'hero' in Duloc and not a big scary Ogre. Shrek's relationship with Donkey is very odd because they are two completely different characters who slowly build up a friendship together. Donkey makes us believe that Shrek is not a typical man eating Ogre because he is never scared of Shrek and tries to find out Shrek's true feelings. After analysing the character of Shrek and Lord Farquaad, I have come to the conclusion that although Shrek seems like a traditional Ogre, he isn't one because you soon find out that he doesn't like to be violent, he rescues the Princess, he makes friends, he has feelings and he finally falls in love. Although Lord Farquaad looks like a Lord, his actions suggest that he is evil. Examples of his evil nature are that he tortured the Gingerbread man, steals Shrek's swamp, tells his knights to kill Shrek, rejects the Princess and falsely claims to be the king. The story of Shrek uses presentational devices to reverse our expectations, so by the end of the film Shrek is the hero who marries the Princess, and Lord Farquaad is the evil beast who is eaten by the dragon. Viewers are happy that the Ogre wins in the end and that the Prince doesn't. Perhaps the message of the story is that you can't judge a book by its cover. Saeed Sattar Shrek ...read more.

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