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different styles of humour in shrek



SHREK is just like its main character in the way that it has many different layers; layers of humor that is. Usually it is seen as a childish movie because of all the visual humor but it has qualities that even complex adults could find humorous such as parody, one liners, and sarcasm. For the even more complex there is satire to consider. It even contains some material that could be considered unsuitable for children.


Visual humor is when something is found humorous usually because something unexpected happens but it also usually involves people getting hurt. Some examples in SHREK are when donkey is repeatedly getting hurt, Shrek hurts his genitals on a bump while sliding down a pole, Fiona sings to the bird until it explodes and when Fiona fights robin hood and his merry men. some examples on television are “funniest home videos” and “wacked out sports”. The reason this is considered childish because you do not need to think about it to find it humorous, there’s “nothing to get”. 


One liners are short one sentence jokes usually insulting someone or something, they are usually unrealistically witty and quick to respond. An example in SHREK is when Fiona Sais “where are you going” and Shrek replies “I’ve got to save my ass”. Areas of comedy where one liners are used frequently are American sitcoms.  One liners take a little more thought than visual humor because you have to process the words before you try to understand what makes it humorous.


Sarcasm is when somebody Sais something but means something else often insinuated by the tone. Just like one liners it is usually used as an insult in fact the two forms of humor are often linked to create sarcastic one liners. An example of sarcasm in the film is when Donkey asks Shrek if he could stay at his house and Shrek says “of course” in a sarcastic voice. So Donkey asks in an excited way “really?” Then Shrek quickly replies in a loud voice “NO!”.


Parody is an imitation of a genre or art form that exposes the faults in an attempted to make the original look bad. An example in the movie SHREK is when lord Farquhar is searching for a wife to become an official king the mirror informs him of possible matches in a “perfect match” TV show style display, another example is when Fiona Shrek and Donkey are attacked by robin hood and his merry men and Fiona matrix style split kicks two of the merry men. Parody appears in every art form some examples of parody in other cases are “Flight of the Concords” (music) “the scary movie series” (film) “The Davinci cod” (literature). Parody is found humorous because people are used to something but see an imitation of it that exaggerates its faults and it appears stupid.


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Satire is by far the most complex of the different styles of humor. Satire is somewhat similar to parody; the difference is parody takes a genre and exposes the faults in the genre itself whereas satire takes a genre and exposes the faults in society an example of satire in SHREK is when they walk into Farquhar’s castle it is a lot like a housing development how everything is perfect. Satire is usually not considered funny and is more an outlet of expressing a point of view. 


Although SHREK is primarily designed to amuse children you should never judge a book by its cover because SHREK has many layers of humor ranging from simple visual humor to complex satire humor so even adults can enjoy this movie.



Liam on August 18, 2013:


I hate you

Asselstine on April 15, 2010:

1. Exaggeration- Pinocchio’s nose growing in length when ever he lies or says something that is not true. The fire out of the dragons mouth following Shrek around corners in the Castle.

Puns - When Shrek said to Fiona “well I’ve got to save my ass”

Irony - When Fiona killed the bird by accident and ate the eggs that the bird just produced.

Juxtaposition - An Ogre eating off a plate with a fork and knife. And Ogre being compared to an onion.

2. I conclude the main message of this movie is not to “judge a book by its cover” and that people judge people before they know them, good or bad. Lord Farquad jugged Fiona on her looks before he even got to talk to her, let a lone get to know her. He really liked her before he found out she turns into an Ogre at sun set, and when he found this out he sent his guards on her. But Shrek didn’t care what she looked like, or what she turns into, he liked her for who she was, not what she looked like.

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