Pan’s Labyrinth Research Paper

In a thesis driven paper, explore the issue/s raised by the prompt, including close discussion of

elements of the film, your analysis, research relevant to the prompt, and connections to other

texts if appropriate. Your paper should be 5-8 pages long and formatted using MLA rules, including

a fully formatted Works Cited page at the end of your essay that correctly documents all sources

used, including the film. (The Works Cited page is not part of your page count). Be careful to

structure your paper so every paragraph directly helps to expand your thesis claim you lay out at

the end of your introduction. Make sure each paragraph has a purpose and helps push your claim

forward; do not walk through the sequence of the film. Do not front load your research or dump it

in one part of the paper. Use what you have learned throughout the paper ? discuss it as you go in

ways that help you explore your own ideas or let you discuss things you wouldn?t have got to by

yourself but that help your thesis. Remember to start the body of your paper with useful

information, context, or concepts and build towards your strongest points at the end. Your thesis

should be fully expanded by the time you get to the conclusion (which pulls all of the parts of the

paper together).
The Prompts (choose and respond to only one)
1. How does Pan?s Labyrinth explore the devastating reality of the Spanish Civil War and perhaps

war itself through the use of fantasy and monsters? What does the film end up saying about fascism

and war?

2. Pan?s Labyrinth has three important female characters: Ofelia, her mother, and Mercedes. Women

are often invisible in representations of war. What is the film exploring through these characters?

3. At the end of the film, Ofelia?s moral sacrifice results in the defeat of the Captain ? but at

the expense of her own life. Examine Ofelia?s life and death; is she really Princess Moanna who has

to complete a heroic quest to save everyone and become a princess again, or is she a girl trying to

cope with a terrible situation who finally falls victim to it?

4. How is this film a discussion of the morality of obedience and disobedience? What does the film

end up saying about the value of disobedience?

5. Examine the fabulist symbolism of the film closely. Thinking about the labyrinth, faun, fairies,

and other elements at play, why and how does del Toro weave the fantastical together with the ?

reality.? What major themes and concepts are revealed and explored through this fabulist mix?

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