Visit this site for an explanation of the different pieces of the anti-hero’s journey. Kal Bishop is the main person on the internet with information about the anti-hero.
Shrek (Mike Myers) represents the anti-hero in many ways. He has a lot of conflict. He is constantly defending himself against ogre hunters. “They judge [him] before they even know” him.
He ends up embarking on the quest to rescue Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz) because he wants all the fairy tale creatures out of his swamp. He wants to be left alone. This quest is for selfish reasons. “There’s me [Shrek] and my swamp.” He only thinks about himself.
I am not sure how he has “dark mentors”. Donkey (Eddie Murphy) is his main mentor, and he isn’t what I would consider dark.
Shrek does give into temptation. After rescuing and travelling with Fiona, he finds he is attracted to her. They like the same things, like blown-up animals and cooked rats. She is a temptation because technically she is betrothed to someone else. She is off limits for him.
I am not sure that he actively sets out to do harm, but he does harm whether intentionally or not. When he first gets to Duloc, he has to fight off the other knights. When in the castle, he fights the dragon. As mentioned earlier, he fights the ogre hunters.
As far at the anti-hero regressing goes, he does seem to evolve a bit on the journey back to Duloc. However, when he thinks Fiona doesn’t like him, he does regress back into his bitter, controlling self.
Shrek does achieve alienation after he gets the princess back to Duloc. He goes back to the swamp. No creatures are left wandering around. He is completely alone.
Fiona does become an alley of Shrek. She fights in the woods to defend him and Donkey. She pulls an arrow out of his butt. And she betrays him when she says, “Princess and ugly don’t go together.” Although she is talking about herself, Shrek believes she has betrayed him. He also believes Donkey “stabbed [him] in the back”.
Shrek’s gain is uncertain towards the end. He gets his swamp back which should be his gain, but he is lonely because he thought Fiona didn’t want him. So was it really a reward to go back to loneliness, when he thought he wanted someone to share life with?
But in the literal end, he does get Fiona and the swamp and a new fairy tale is formed.
Here’s another site with information about the anti-hero, also by Kal Bishop. Some of the pieces fit nicely into the Shrek story, but others were confusing. Have a look if you’re interested.
This site looks are the different archetypes in Shrek, including the hero’s journey. Not farfetched. The hero and anti-hero journeys are quite similar.
There is also some analysis with Shrek and stereotyping. Check it out.
Thanks for reading!