What do you think this cartoon is about?
● What issue is this cartoon about?
● What do you think is the cartoonist’s opinion
on the issue?
● What opinion is being expressed in this
What is an editorial cartoon?
● An editorial cartoon is an illustration that provides an opinion
or commentary on current events and personalities.
● They use hyperbole and satire.
● Their purpose is to question
authority and draw attention
to social or political issues.
● They are often political,
hence they are also
called ‘political cartoons.’
Political cartoons originated in Britain in the early-18th century
(1700s). They gained momentum during the French
Revolution and throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.
Historians find them a valuable source for identifying the
values and attitudes of people in the past.
James Gillray. “The Plum pudding in danger” (1805). David Low. “Rendezvous” (1939).
“Cartoonists are often at
their best when they are
critical, exaggerating a
physical feature of a
political figure or capturing
public sentiment against the
government.” (Nash, 2011)
WARM UP: Analysing an editorial cartoon
1. What is the event or issue inspired by the cartoon?
2. Are there any real people or places in the cartoon? If
not, what images are portrayed in the cartoon?
3. What opinion is being expressed in the cartoon?
4. Identify any specific techniques that the artist is using
to persuade the reader to their opinion.
5. Is this cartoon persuasive? Explain.
Persuasive techniques used in political cartoons
A simple object represents a larger concept or idea.
Hence, it is a symbolic representation something.
actions of people (or
things) are magnified or
Often this is done to
make a point about a
situation or a person.
and clothing are the
make it clear
they stand for.
An analogy is a comparison between two unlike things.
By comparing a
complex issue or
situation with a
more familiar one,
cartoonists can help
their readers see it
in a different light.
Irony is the difference between the way things are and the
way things should be (or are expected to be).
opinion on an
Tips for editorial cartoons
● An editorial cartoon is a form of opinion, therefore it needs to
be insightful. Your message needs to be clear and strong.
● See it as a ‘column told in pictures rather than words.’
● It does not need to be funny. If the reader laughs, it is
because they recognise the truth portrayed in your cartoon.
● Don’t clutter them with too many word. A few choice words of
phrases should be sufficient.
● DO NOT use other people’s cartoons or ideas. Recreating
someone else’s work is still plagiarism … DON’T DO IT!