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Suggested Answers to Discussion Questions for

1.  [Standard Questions Suitable for Any Film]. [No suggested Answers.]

2.  Look at the self-portrait of Goya shown on this Guide. What is he wearing that reminds you of a scene in the film? Suggested Response: It's the hat fitted with clips to hold candles. After asking this question and receiving an answer explain that you have heard two explanations: (1) the aristocracy in Spain at the time Goya was painting had a custom of looking at paintings by candlelight (Goya would finish his paintings by candlelight so that he could see what his audience would see) and (2) at certain times in his career, Goya was so busy that he used the candles to extend his work day. Francisco Goya by Martha Richardson, p. 39.

3.  What was Goya intending to convey in Capricho No. 42? He tells us in the movie. Suggested Response: The donkeys, because they wear spurs, are the aristocrats who are borne on the backs of the hard working overburdened peasants.

4.  Which artists were influenced by Goya? Suggested Response: The artists in France who, in the late 1800s, rejected the restrictions of the academic style and created modern art. Through these artists Goya influenced all of modern art.

5.  What is the relationship between Goya and modern art? Suggested Response: Much of modern art was presaged by Goya. He has been called the first of the modern painters. His work predicted the dominant movements of modern art in the 19th and 20th centuries: Romanticism, Impressionism, Expressionism and Surrealism. Goya's ground breaking paintings served as an inspiration to the French artists, such as the Impressionists, who broke away from the scholastic artistic traditions that prevailed in the second half of the nineteenth century.

6.  What was the Inquisition and how did the Inquisition in Spain differ from that in other countries? Suggested Response: The Inquisition was an institution of the Catholic Church used to root out heresies (beliefs that varied from the doctrine of the church) and punish heretics. The Inquisition in Spain was an institution of state policy as well because the judges were appointed by the King.

7.  Describe the historical background for "The Execution of Madrileños on the Third of May." Suggested Response: See Helpful Background Section.

8.  In the early 1800s paintings of battles glamorized the actions of the victors and showed heroic deeds and great generals. In what way is "The Execution of Madrileños on the Third of May" different than this? Suggested Response: This was not a battle of contending heroic armies drawn in the realistic manner. It was not just a depiction of the event. Details are suppressed. Liberties are taken with the form to convey the emotions that would be felt by someone watching the event and the human and historical importance of the event. This painting is a classic example of "expressionism" a style in which the artist seeks to depict not objective reality but rather the subjective emotions and responses that objects and events arouse in him.

Social-Emotional Learning

See questions under Caring.

1.  How did the friendship between Rosarita and Goya develop in the film? Suggested Response: They had an interest in common, drawing and painting.


2.  What does the painting Self-Portrait with Dr. Arrieta tell us about how someone who is seriously ill feels and the role of the physician? Suggested Response: The Goya shown in the painting doesn't seem to want to live and the doctor is pulling him back into life. But Goya did recover, not only his health, but his interest in life.


3.  What is the relationship between talent and human rights and how does it relate to this film? Suggested Response: Talent cannot flower or find its expression without human rights.


4.  What effect did Goya's deafness have on his career? Suggested Response: Not much. He still created new and ground breaking works of art.

5.  Describe how each of the disabilities of the following people affected their lives: Thomas Edison, Helen Keller, Beethoven, Edgar Degas, and Francisco Goya. Suggested Response: Edison used his deafness as a way to obtain separation and concentrate; Helen Keller overcame being deaf, dumb and blind to get a college education and become an author and model for all people; Beethoven composed music and invented new forms of music after he had become deaf; Degas continued to paint as long as possible and adapted his style to his failing eyesight; Goya continued to paint and perhaps, as shown in the film, used his deafness as an excuse when he didn't want to communicate with someone. None of these people allowed their disabilities to stop them.

Discussion Questions Relating to Ethical Issues will facilitate the use of this film to teach ethical principles and critical viewing. Additional questions are set out below.


(Be kind; Be compassionate and show you care; Express gratitude; Forgive others; Help people in need)

1.  Goya and his son had some difficulties in their relationship. Goya was dismissive of the Court while his son was trying to build a career there and get along with the King. However, through this story they are shown reconciling. Goya and the housekeeper and Goya and Rosarita also develop affection for one another. What is the basis for this? Suggested Response: They cared about each other and, in the end, this very principled emotion came through and governed their actions. See also the suggested response to the next question.

2.  Can you care about someone who is very different from you or who disagrees with you about important matters? Suggested Response: Of course. All you must do is concentrate on the basis for the loving relationship and recognize that people are different and that you might not have a monopoly on the truth. Everyone has had the experience of having a strongly felt opinion proven wrong. In this movie, Javier saw that the "Black Paintings" were great works of art and expressions of his father's thoughts. He cared about his father and didn't think that he should be prosecuted by the Inquisition for paintings in his own house. The basis for the revival of the relationship was that the men cared about each other.

Last updated December 18, 2007.

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