The following academic paper highlights the up-to-date issues and questions of Shrek Lord Farquaad. This sample provides just some ideas on how this topic can be analyzed and discussed.
In this essay I am going to analyse the characters of Shrek and Lord Farquaad and write how filmmakers use different presentational devices to create an unusual fairy tale.
Traditional Fairytales consist of basic concepts and themes. Good always seems to defeat evil.
One of the characters we have all come across in fairytales is the Ogre.
When we first think of the Ogre, the thoughts and attitudes towards the character would be, firstly, the related words ‘ugly’ and strength. These are important characteristics of the Ogre. He uses these to scare away other people. There is a sense of fear in the Ogre. To sum up the Ogre, he is large, unfriendly, terrible looking and a lonely creature that can be considered as a bad guy in fairytales.
Another fairytale character who is common in many stories is ‘ The Prince’.
He is literally the opposite of the Ogre. He is usually a handsome brave man who in fairytales rescues a beautiful woman who he truly loves. The prince is a hero in many tales.
These two characters are very important and their values contribute deeply into the meaning of the story in which they are found.
Characters, which make up a fairytale world, are stereotypes of those characters in a ideal world. For example we transfer the image of someone brave and who is a hero into someone like the prince.
Language is an important device. It can create the impression of good and evil in both characters. The main character of the film and the centre of the story is Shrek himself. The film is set up and laid out like a normal fairytale. The beginning starts off like a typical fairytale, starting ‘Once apon a time…’ At the very start of the film it is different, unconventional and new ideas are added, like when Shrek’s big hand shuts the book at the beginning. We are introduced to him straight away.
The setting at the beginning of the film is not tradition because it is set in a swamp where you expect and Ogre to live. The camera shots are mostly close-ups at the beginning. They are focusing on the character.
When the village people arrive at Shrek’s swamp, he sees them, so he gets cross, therefore he tries to intimidate them by saying forcefully, ‘I will grind your bones for my bread and shave your liver and make jelly from your eyes.’ He tries to daunt them by saying, ‘Ogres are worse than giants.’ The characters run away in fear.
Shrek comes across as a conventional ogre because he scares the characters like you would expect them to do. He uses quick phrases to create a sense of fear so the characters will deliberately become horrified. During this scene there is a camera shot which is very effective. A close up is taken of Shrek’s mouth to make them think he is going to eat them.
Afterwards, Shrek meets donkey. Due to Shrek’s nature, he immediately tries to scare Donkey away. He follows Shrek to his swamp. One of the surprising characteristics about Donkey is that he can talk. Shrek roars at him to try and terrify him. Donkey does not seem intimidated and is not scared. He just says, ‘You need some tictacs because your breath stinks.’ Later on in the scene, Shrek is sat at his table when three blind mice come out looking for food. He tries to catch them but fails. When he eventually catches them he reminds them, ‘I am a terrifying Ogre, what do I have to do to get a little privacy around here?’
The behaviour of donkey and the mice tell us that Shrek is not a traditional ogre because he does not really want the mice and donkey to go as he likes their company. From the attitudes towards these characters we can conclude that Shrek is very lonely and doesn’t like to be close to others. Shrek isn’t capable of doing horrible things to others even if he really wanted to. He feels sad and feels others hate him and do not want to get to know him.
Shrek and Donkey take a visit to Dulok to try and get Shrek’s Swamp back. They are going to see Lord Farquaad and tell him that the swamp is his and no one else’s. Shrek is not even vaguely frightened about going to him. As the film progresses, we learn that Shrek is really not all that frightening.
Lord Farquaad orders Shrek to go and rescue Princess Fiona from the tower. Whilst in the Lords court the maker’s use lighting to make it seem like a tense atmosphere by dimming the lights, which makes it darker.
Shrek does as he is told and goes to rescue the princess. The presentational device used is not traditional. The setting is where Shrek goes to get the princess from the tower. A dragon stops them going to awaken the princess. This scene is opposite of stereotypes of traditional fairytale scenes. Everything is opposite to what it should be. In a traditional fairytale, a handsome prince slays the dragon, rescues the princess and they share first love. But in ‘Shrek’, the ogre comes into the castle, does not slay the dragon and leaves. When Shrek gets to the top of the tower he awakens Fiona vigorously. There is no romantic moment in this part, again another untraditional device is used.
Fiona is another character who is not frightened of Shrek and can communicate normally. So not everyone thinks badly of him.
When they are escaping a quick tune is played in the background. This creates an effect that they are eager to escape.
During the film we learn that Lord Farquaad is not a traditional prince as he has an evil side to him. You can tell he’s bad by the way he talks and treats others, like the gingerbread man. He laughs at him and throws him in the bin. A presentational device is used here. Lord Farquaad tortures the gingerbread man and this is not normally the case in fairytales. A high angle camera shot is used to make Lord Farquaad look big compared to the gingerbread man.
He is short, mean, not handsome and greedy. This shows his character is unconventional of that a fairytale prince.
Greed is shown when he wants to marry a princess for the sake of being king. A traditional prince would want to marry a princess to share love. Lord Farquaad is not a stereotypical character.
Many different camera shots are used in ‘Shrek’. A high angle camera shot is used when the camera moves from ground level upwards to reveal his tower. It is useful because it makes Lord Farquaad seem higher and more honoured and Shrek and Donkey appear small land less important. High camera angles are useful and help the viewers to get a better feeling of what’s going on. Middle angle camera shots are also used like when Princess Fiona is cooking breakfast.
Lighting, music and sound effects are a big part in the film. Music reflects the characters emotions, for example when Shrek is unhappy the music is slow. Lighting often portrays minor events like the ending of Princess’s song. Brighter lighting adds the feeling of a warmer and a happier event.