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Analysing the characters of Shrek and Lord Farquaad.

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Introduction

Shrek. A traditional fairy tale usually starts with "Once upon a time...." and mostly consists of a brave, handsome prince on a quest to rescue a beautiful stereotypical princess. That princess is mainly in some sort of predicament involving some hideous beast, a giant, an ogre or a dragon, and the tale always seems to have the same ending, the common phrase ".... and they lived happily ever after." As children we are given this view by storybooks and our parents telling us made up fairy tales. For some young children with that view of a typical fairy tale, Shrek must have come as a big shock to the system. Their traditional view of the brave, handsome prince, for example Prince Charming from Cinderella, is shattered by the image of the terrible, unnecessary actions of Lord Farquaad. Earlier on in the picture the audience knows that Shrek is not going to be like any other traditional fairy tale with the first scene in Shrek's swamp. Shrek is supposed to be a nasty, vile, stereotypical monster yet why are the audience smiling and laughing at him? His lovable Scottish accent and comical actions portray him as being friendly and not a dangerous, violent creature. When the film opens we are lulled into a false sense of security by the soft, magical music. ...read more.

Middle

that the hero of the film is the usual, terrible beast that attempts to eat or kill the princess or the hero proves that this is a fairy tale with a difference. In the film Donkey is a very important character who helps to bring out Shrek,s true colours. He completely ignores the keep out signs at Shrek' swamp and stays true to him all throughout the film even going back with him at the end. His phrases 'only a true friend would be that truly honest' and That's what friends do, they forgive each other' tells us how he feels towards Shrek and how he sticks with Shrek knowing that he is an ogre but not judging him because of this. When the unorthodox hero rescues the beautiful princess we see Shrek's other side, one of love and passion. Like Donkey she doesn't scream and run away from Shrek and eventually gets to know him better. They are pictured walking through woods on a sunny day with birds chirping and with bright light, which gives the audience the feeling of love and the bright non-traditional ogre side of Shrek. When he hears Fiona and Donkey talking his sensitive side is shown to us, as he is grumpy and not nice to them. ...read more.

Conclusion

After analysing the character of Shrek and Lord Farquaad, I have come to the conclusion that although Shrek seems like a traditional ogre he is really a very nice, pleasant character that is fed up with being judged by everyone and has another lighter side to him than everyone thinks. He makes friends unlike a normal ogre; he rescues, finds love with and marries a princess, that is certainly not what a traditional ogre would do and he didn't grind anyone's bones to make his bread in the whole film! Lord Farquaad seems like and looks like a lord but his actions and words suggest otherwise that he is evil. He tortures helpless creatures, he kills, steals and fights without real reason. His rejection of the princess and false claim to be king is very rude and his actions are not that of a typical prince character in a traditional fairy tale. The presentational devices used in the story of Shrek to reverse our expectations, so that by the end of the film we feel that Shrek is the would be prince like character that is good and nice to know and that Lord Farquaad is the beastly, evil character that is horrible to everyone and purely black hearted. Perhaps the moral of the story is that you can't judge a book by its cover. Sean Kenny 10J ...read more.

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