Books and Movies Reviews

How does "Shrek" Undermine the Traditions of a …

How does "Shrek" Undermine the Traditions of a Stereotypical Fairy Tale through contrasting the characters Shrek and Lord Farquaad?
"Shrek" is undeniably an intelligent film that uses many devices to undermine the traditions of a stereotypical fairy tale.One of these devices is characterisation.As the main character and the hero, many of these devices are centred on Shrek – an ogre.Farquaad should be the hero figure of the story, since he is the only male figure of nobility in the plot. As Shrek's antithesis, however, he is the villain and therefore also has a great many unexpected aspects to him. Although there are many more things in the film that could have been analysed to show just how intelligent and wide ranging the subversion of the fairy tale genre was in the film, by analysing the important contrast between Shrek and Farquaad, it will be possible to provide an in depth explanation of one of the ways in which the makers of Shrek have subverted the stereotypical fairy tale.
As with many Disney type fairy tale films, "Shrek" begins with the close up shot of a leather-bound book.It opens, as if by magic and an as yet anonymous character reads it.It is a fairy tale story about a beautiful princess held captive by a fire-breathing dragon in a tower.She waits for her true love to come and rescue her.The traditions of a stereotypical fairy tale are subverted immediately when the character suddenly declares "What a loada…".The sound of a page ripping can be heard, then the flushing of a toilet.Shrek then comes out of an outhouse.It is clear that he has used the ripped page from the book in his ablutions.The fact that the title character – indeed the hero – of the film feels such contempt for the fairy tale genre emphasises the unusual take the film has on such traditions.It is also important that this is made clear from the very beginnin…


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