Shrek and His Modern Princess Essay

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Shrek and His Modern Princess The film Shrek makes myriad allusions to various other texts. These allusions are usually presented as a parody of an original text, in which the makers of Shrek imitate the style of the parodied texts. Their re-creation of these hypotexts (Dentith 36) involves subverting key aspects of the original texts, setting up incongruities between what the audience expects to see and what actually takes place. The focus is thus brought to the audience, as writers of media texts write based on assumptions that they make of their audiences. Studying the assumptions behind the construction of both the original texts and the parodies can then reveal something about the audiences for whom these texts were created.…show more content…
In terms of Disney's "fairy tale princess" in Sleeping Beauty, the stereotypical woman is helpless, weak, dependent and submissive. She is conventionally "feminine," wearing her hair long and in a braid, and wearing long dresses that show off her womanly figure. In addition, she needs to be "rescued" by a gallant, conventionally masculine prince on his "noble steed" as, being weak, she is unable to defend or save herself. The character of Princess Fiona in Shrek is set up as a parody of Princess Aurora in Sleeping Beauty. She finds herself in the exact same circumstances, bound by a curse and imprisoned in a room in the highest tower of a castle. She also shares Princess Aurora's external appearance, dressed in a long green gown with long braided hair. As such, the audience watching Shrek is set up to expect Princess Fiona to behave according to the stereotypes attached to the conventional female of the 1950s as epitomized by Disney's "fairy tale princess." However, a close analysis of a particular scene in Shrek produces a complete subversion of this expectation. This scene, which begins with Princess Fiona frying and serving eggs as a peace offering to Shrek and Donkey for her unreasonable behavior the day before, portrays the princess as a contemporary woman. It goes on to show her single-handedly fighting off
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