Graphic Novels: A Literary Analysis

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Most English students get tired of reading Shakespeare. Though his plays were revolutionary and are written eloquently, the elevated language and use of out of date terms often causes students to lose focus or not fully comprehend the value of the text. While comics used to be at the complete opposite end of the spectrum from Shakespeare, if one could even justify their presence in the literary world at all, they are now taking the world by storm, moving their way up the literary ladder. While they may never reach the revered level of Shakespeare, graphic novels are undoubtedly making a name for themselves as they carve out a place in literature. Frank Miller plays a large role in beginning the graphic novel revolution when he creates a new …show more content…
Before graphic novels such as The Dark Knight, Maus, or Watchmen, comics weren’t in high regard. The belief was that comics were adolescent, unchallenging, and not real works of literature. After The Dark Knight Returns, the outlook on comics and their literary worth was viewed under an entirely different lense. Scholar Yildirim says it best when he writes, “Once regarded as only a means of amusement lacking literary insight and merit, graphic novels have evolved into a respected and well-regarded genre of literature which deserves a permanent place in the literary world” (2). Panels throughout the work are littered with text, while some are merely images that leave part of the story up to reader’s imagination. The scene where the large bat is flying toward a young Batman gives the reader a few hints as to how he gained his powers, but most is left to reasonable …show more content…
Instead of humor or slapstick comedy, comics started to incorporate storylines that played with the all the heartstrings of the reader. The Dark Knight especially used this aspect to rise above other comics of the time. To get an emotional response, Miller adjusted the predictable comic format that left readers guessing until the end of the graphic novel. For further explanation, Miller says, “To get the emotional response I 'm after, I believe the violence is necessary, depending on the story” (Miller 1). Miller uses extreme violence in the fight scene between the Joker and Batman. Both have been stabbed, choked and injured to near death. This scene is quite shocking for readers who may have been expecting the lightheartedness of comic books

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