Presentational Devices Used in Films

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Presentational Devices Used in Films

In traditional fairy tales, 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 analyse the characters of Shrek and Lord

Farquaad, and write about how the filmmakers use different

presentational devices to create an unusual fairy tale.

In traditional fairy tales ogres and giants are horrific, man-eating

beasts who grind bones and rips flesh. In 'Jack and the Beanstalk' the

ogre tries to kill Jack, with a giant club, and he intends on eating

jack once he has killed him. Also, Princes are always conceived to be

good, majestic, and always rescues the princess with his noble steed,

and end up getting married and sharing their first romantic encounter

with each other. In 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the prince

awakes snow white with 'loves first kiss', closely followed by the two

getting wed, and living happily ever after.

Language is an important device, and I am going to write about how

language can create the impression that good and evil is present in

both characters and in films. The film 'Shrek' opens like a

traditional fairy tale, using the well-known beginning, 'Once upon a

time there was a beautiful princess…' Pages of a story book is focused

on, with pictures and words, also narrated by a mystery person, which

is a frequent start in most conventional fairy tales. When the last

page is shown, and the last caption is read, the narrator says 'Like

that's ever goin...

... middle of paper ...

... has friends, he rescues the

princess, finds true love and gets married. This shows he is different

from a typical ogre. Equally, Lord Farquaad looks like a noble Lord,

but is very different to one. He has an evil nature; as he tortures

people, he steals, makes other people do his fighting. He is also

cruel, and has no feelings for others, shown by the rejection of the

princess, and his false claims to be a king. The story of 'Shrek' uses

presentational devices to reverse our expectations, so that the end of

the film sees Shrek as the good character, and Lord Farquaad is seen

as the evil character. The makers of 'Shrek' have successfully managed

to reverse this fairy tale and to make it appeal to younger viewers by

making it more amusing, but still put across an important message of

you can't judge a book by its cover.
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