Writing a Good Shrek Essay

Shrek essays must focus on differences with fairy tales

This is a very popular topic for school essays nowadays. A Shrek essay has the advantage that every student has watched the movie, or at least has some idea on who this “big, stupid, ugly ogre” is (actually, a brave, good hearted antihero of our time). So don’t freak out if a teacher asks you to write an essay on this topic, because you could do much worse! Shrek essays are funny to write and read, although you should focus on “serious” topics and not only repeat the best jokes on any film of the Shrek series.
Today, everyone is talking about Shrek again, since the fourth (and, apparently, last) film of the series is about to be released by DreamWorks. With “Shrek forever after”, the series of adventures will be completed. We suggest you to at least watch the first film in order to write a proper essay.

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Main characters

Any student could very well write a great Shrek essay focusing on the main character. This green fat ogre with Mike Myers’ voice is actually the typical antihero, the one that at first is reluctant to take his place as the hero but eventually does something heroic, gets the girl and finds his place in society (oh well, the swamp).
But Shrek is not the only interesting character. Princess Fiona is the modern, independent woman who ends up not caring about her looks but about finding someone who actually loves her for who she truly is. Even if at the beginning of the film she plays the traditional fairy tale princess who is wating for Prince Charming, her role changes drastically. And Eddie Murphy plays Donkey, the funny sidekick who makes the audience laugh every time he appears on the screen.

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Difference with traditional fairy tales

A serious essay on Shrek could be based on the contrast between this film and traditional fairy tales (and previous animated films such as Disney’s). Shrek plays all the time with irony and mixes traditional elements (the swamp’s old cottage, Lord Farquaad’s castle, knights and dragons) with contemporary details such as reality shows (check the mirror scene in Shrek 1), Hollywood (what, if not, is Far Far Away, Fiona’s home kingdom, in Shrek 2?), popular culture icons (Matrix, Justin Timberlake, Mission Impossible…). Take down notes while you watch the films, you will find thousands of them.

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Comparison between the films

Finally, another topic you may focus on Shrek essays is a comparison or contrast between different movies on the series, finding similarities and differences between two or more of them. For example, you may find that while Shrek 1 is a bit more emotional on its plot (after all, it has a lot to say about self-acceptance, prejudice, women’s role in society), Shrek 2 is pure comedy. Shrek 3, for many the weakest one of the saga, is about accepting responsibilities and growing up. Watching the three films (or four, when the time comes), will give you a much wider perspective on the characters and their roles.

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