Shrek and the Code of Shivalry

Essay by Punjabi-Bl00dzHigh School, 12th gradeB+, May 2009

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The movie Shrek which starts like any other fairy tale with a once upon a time. But once we see whom the hero of the story is it is made obvious that this is not a typical fairy tale. Each character symbolizes something in general. The four main characters are Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz), Shrek (Mike Myers), Donkey (Eddie Murphy) and Lord Farquaad (John Lithgow). The other characters include the old fairy tale creatures from stories of childhood, which are brought to life, and this is the tale. The hero, Shrek, is forced to go on a quest in order to win back the deed to his swamp because Lord Farquaad banished the Fairy tale creatures there. Lord Farquaad is herding all the fairytale creatures out of the city of Dulop because he believes them to be a burden. Also, in order to become a king he must marry a princess, with the help of a magical mirror he chooses Princess Fiona, but needs someone to rescue the princess from her castle which is surrounded by lava and guarded by a dragon.

This story very much relates to the ideals found in the Code of Chivalry because Shrek risked his life to save Princess Fiona and never recoiled in front of his enemy.

Shrek did save Fiona from the highest room of the tallest tower of a dragon-guarded castle after having walked over a rickety bridge, suspended over a boiling lake of lava! That is a stupefying example of the 10th rule in the code of chivalry, "Thou shalt be everywhere and always the champion of the Right and the Good against Injustice and Evil." Shrek also portrays this ideal when he first confronts Lord Farquaad, and he orders the knights to attack the ogre, Shrek. Shrek defeats all the knights and the Lord presents Shrek with a deal which would give him his deed to his swamp back, if Shrek rescued Princess Fiona from her castle. Another example from this movie that exhibits this code is when Shrek returns to Princess Fiona and trys to win her back. Shrek realizes that Lord Farquaad was only marrying Princess Fiona in order to become king, and Shrek realizing that he loves Fiona, goes back and rescues her.

Shrek's main enemy is Lord Farquaad. Shrek, who lived peacefully in his swamp, finds many fairy tale beings, including the talkative Donkey, who were forced to the swamp by order of Lord Farquaad. Shrek and the Donkey decide to travel to the country to see Farquaad to try to regain Shrek's swamp. The two make it to Farquaad's palace in Dulac and come across a knight tournament to decide who will rescue Princess Fiona. Shrek manages to best the other knights, and Farquaad makes an agreement with Shrek, that if he goes to rescue Fiona he would give Shrek his deed back. Shrek was met with a very big challenge at this point in the story, but he never recoiled in front of his enemy, one of the ten ideals in the code of chivalry. When Shrek encountered the dragon at Princess Fiona's castle, he again didn't recoil even though he could've died at any second.

The Ten Commandments of the Code of Chivalry ask to "love the country in the which thou wast born." Shrek was born in his swamp, and he just loves living there. He likes the filth in his swamp, and just living alone. When the fairy tale creatures are dropped off at his swamp, Shrek is outraged. He loved his swamp the way it was before, and travels on a quest to return things to the way they were before.

In conclusion, Shrek's great quest allowed him to achieve many things. These things changed his understanding of life. His great achievements are finding the meaning of friendship and boosting his self-confidence. Shrek transformed from an ogre with a life of solitude with no friends to an ogre with a life of joy with friends, which is what the code of chivalry, asks all knights to do.

Bibliography:"Shrek." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 16 May 2009, 12:54 UTC. 17 May 2009 .

"Shrek 2." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 16 May 2009, 12:55 UTC. 17 May 2009 .