Shrek Satire Essay Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 21 March 2016

Shrek Satire Essay

Shrek tells the tale of a lonely ogre trying to find his way though life in the forest. Along the way, he meets new friends, falls in love with a princess, fights a prince, and learns survival skills, all the while learning even more about himself. He realizes exactly what it means to be a good person, someone people can trust, as well as being comfortable in his own skin. Satire is the use of humour and with a critical attitude, irony, sarcasm, or ridicule for exposing or denouncing the frailties and faults of mankind’s activities and institutions such a folly, stupidity and vice. Shrek subverts fairy-tale traditions by making fun of numerous classic conventions by using unexpected events and characters, and by reversing things audiences would typically expect in a traditional fairy tale story. Vicky Jenson and Andrew Adamson make this story a modern day version of fairy tales beliefs today where modern day values have changed. Shrek, the protagonist of the story, is a green, ugly ogre with disgusting hygiene and that lives in a swamp which subverts to a traditional fairy-tale with the main character that is handsome, noble and lives in a castle.

The opening scene of the movie Shrek, it exhibits classical music, often played in most fairy-tales to get the audience relaxed and calm. “Once upon a time” is an iconic fairy tale stater that is widely known around the world. Using this phrase allows the audience to realise that this film is about a fairy tale with the combination of diegetic and non-diegetic sounds. Shrek, with his heavy Scottish accent, narrates the opening storybook with an angelic tone, but at the end, he shouts out “like that’s ever going to happen” then rips the page out which surprises the audience in such a way that it becomes humours. This scene shows reversal in characterisation through the comparison of traditional versus modern day aspects and gives parody through the way Shrek jokes around with his sarcasm. The film subverts the traditional stereotype that princesses are always the damsel in distress. In traditional fairy tale stories, the princess is always the defenceless ones and always relies on the noble knight to protect her. On the other hand, Princess Fiona being an “ass kicking martial artist” is shown in the scene with Robin Hood and his merry men where she beats all of them up using special moves and techniques used in movies such as: the matrix and crouching tiger, hidden dragon to give parody. This gives reversal through
the characterisation of princesses in traditional fairy tales. Incongruity is used as Princess Fiona uses her ponytail to deliver a knockout punch to one of the Merry Men. While frozen in a mid-air martial arts kick, Princess Fiona pauses to fix her dishevelled hair before knocking out two of the Merry Men, which shows an act of exaggeration. Jenson and Adamson has subverted the change of role between the main characters to parodies the value in traditional fairy-tale stories where the protagonist is normally the noble king and the ugly ogre to be the villain. In the first scene where Lord Farquaad appears, organs play in an evil tune making the audience aware that danger is going to come. The diegetic sounds

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  • University/College: University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 21 March 2016

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