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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: English
  • Essay length: 1437 words

How do the makers of 'Shrek' use presentational devices to reverse this tradition, to reveal the ogre as good, and the prince as evil?

Extracts from this essay...


SHREK In traditional fairytales, ogres are man-eating beasts. The prince usually rescues the princess; they marry and live happily ever after. How do the makers of 'Shrek' use presentational devices to reverse this tradition, to reveal the ogre as good, and the prince as evil? In this essay, I am going to analyze the characters of Shrek and Lord Farquaad, and write about how filmmakers use different presentational devices to create an unusual fairytale. In conforming fairytales there are Princes such as prince charming, but they are the only kind of prince you are normally going to find, whereas the ogres and giants are a mixed breed, there is the ogre who attempts to eat the three Billy goats gruff, or the giant form Jack and the Beanstalk. In that fairytale the giant chases Jack all the way around his castle threatening to eat him. Shrek tries plea for a peaceful end to a fight and only scares the villagers off, instead of attempting to harm them. Lord Farquaad is different from other characters in his position such as Princes, Farquaad attempts to draw a queen so he can become King, and have his own Kingdom. The prince from Snow White, is attracted to Snow White for real, instead of for his own gain, and from this he saves her live.


This suggests that Shrek isn't really a fighting ogre, because he doesn't really want to hurt anyone. When Shrek rescues Princess Fiona he violently shakes her to wake her up instead of the usual kiss from a knight to wake the prince from a long slumber, she is also disappointed that it is not a romantic moment, even though he is an ogre. He also gives an excuse that he has to save his ass, for that fact that he didn't slay the dragon, practically saying that he has to save himself and Donkey. Initially he tries to act threatening towards Princess Fiona but doesn't last long doing this. Other characters see Shrek as a harmful ogre, these are people such as the villagers, but Princess Fiona sees him as harmless, because she understands how he feels. Lord Farquaad has an evil side to him; he watches a torture of the gingerbread man and just enjoys it, at first he laughs and then taunts him, 'Run, run, run as fast as you can...' He also attempts to pull off the gingerbread man's buttons, but he pleads with him for his buttons. Soon after that he throws the gingerbread man in the bin and he screams. There is also a parody of the famous series Blind Date where Lord Farquaad has three beautiful women to pick from.


Lord Farquaad's castle is supposed to be beautiful- but instead we get a gingerbread man being tortured, hooded creatures promoting violence and secrecy, his own isolated hood to chill in. Very lonely and big. Lighting in the film is used to show the loneliness of Shrek, as he is isolating himself from the rest of the characters. He does this by sitting away from the fire with his back to it, staring into the moon trying to find something to contemplate. It is also used when Shrek has met the princess and he is pictured by the sunset. Ha and Fiona walk through the forest on a sunny day, the lighting here gives an overview of a happy romantic day, even though it doesn't seem real. There are birds chirping and the princess singing, all showing contentment. At the end of the film a brilliant light is used to show the goodness and make a real magical fairytale ending. All in all this film uses traditional fairytale characters brought to you using presentational devices which change the effect of these characters full circle. At first these presentational devices show you them as traditional characters howling, being good for the normally good characters and evil for Shrek. But this has a reversal of trend, Shrek ends up as the good guy and Lord Farquaad comes out of the film nearly as evil as Hitler

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