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Archetypes and Critical Lenses
Transcript of Archetypes and Critical Lenses
The Search for Love
Archetypes in Shrek
Archetypes and Critical Lenses
Blair Bonner, Tara Thompson, Olivia Petrusky, and Jessy Thurnes
Shrek was sent on a quest from Lord Farquaad to rescue Princess Fiona from the highest part of the castle so she can find her one true love. Shrek and his noble steed, Donkey, were in charge of slaying the dragon and getting the princess out safely. Shrek was sent on this quest so that Lord Farquaad could receive his title of king and so Shrek could get his swamp back that all the fairy tale creatures invaded. Shrek is considered the Hero because he is going to accomplish a task to bring normalcy back to his home and because he is obeying orders from Lord Farquaad.
Shrek is considered an "ugly beast" because he is a big, green ogre. Shrek's appearance is nothing close or normal to the rest of the people in town. Everybody is scared of Shrek and they run away whenever he is in sight. He is banished from town and has to live in his isolated swamp because he is not human or considered normal. For example, he uses his earwax as a candle. No human is able to do that and people do not want to be surrounded by the ogre which is why he is considered an outcast and has to live by himself.
The Search for Love
The archetype search for love is significant to the movie Shrek because it is what the plot is mostly about. Lord Farquaad wants to find someone to marry to become King so he uses Shrek and Donkey to make this happen. But unfortunately love is being sought through force and is not found like hoped for the Lord. The ultimate search for love is found through pure coincidence with Shrek and Princess Fiona. Despite the uneasy road it took them, dealing with miscommunications and confusion, it becomes a happily ever after.
This archetype is seen in Shrek with Donkey. Donkey is Shrek’s (the hero) companion who helps him on his quest to rescue Princess Fiona and get his swamp back. Donkey is the animal that finds Shrek and tags along with him during his journey even though he is unwanted in the beginning. But his presence proves to Shrek that nature was on his side to get his swamp
back and it wanted to see him succeed so he was given a donkey to help him achieve his task.
By using the historical lens to analyze the movie Shrek, viewers are able to put the scenes into context during a certain time period. By knowing the history during which the movie takes place, viewers can understand the reasoning behind character’s actions and determine the meaning of the setting. Shrek was placed during the 16th Renaissance Architecture style. This is seen with the use of castles and a traditional monarchy with a queen and king. The common fairy tale where prince charming rescues the princess locked in a tower is incorporated in an entertaining twist in this movie. Also in the 16th century, there were very dramatic class distinctions and in Shrek this is shown and exemplified. Lord Farquaad is in the wealthy class and has a nice home and high power. Whereas Shrek, is in the lower class and lives in the swamp and does not have any control.
Through the feminist lense, Fiona is not able to live out her utmost potential as a princess. She is locked away in a tower, has no power over choosing who she can marry, and must be rescued in order to escape her confinement. Lord Farquaad is allowed to choose who he wants to marry, thus supporting the patriarchal view, and the power is kept in the hands of the men. Fiona has no control over her fate. In a feminist lense, Fiona can be seen as a mere obstacle or prize that the male protagonists (Shrek and Farquaad) encounter throughout the movie.
By viewing the movie Shrek with a Marxist lense, a viewer can see class distinctions between high class and low class. Lord Farquaad represents the higher class and how they demonstrate control over lower class, like Shrek. In the Lord’s quest to find love and become King, he is able to get Shrek and Donkey to rescue Princess Fiona so he can marry her. When Shrek over hears Fiona talking about how she becomes an ugly beast, or an ogre like himself, at night, he thinks of himself as well to be a disgusting creature and that she is too good for him. A Marxist lense would view these occurrences as money and power because it shows how higher classes control the lower ones.