On the one side there are black dressed people fixing the guns in front of the other sided people who look like the innocent and common people. There is also a light box, there is texture of blood and some dead people in the front space. A boy in yellow trousers and white shirt is emotionally surrendering but a man is consoled by some people behind the boy are closing their ears and eyes.
The painting is on the theme of massacre or genocide because the mass murdering has been in progress. It is the setting of city in Spain and it is related to a dark night. The Spanish painter Goya may have been impressed of the effect of the Spanish civil war which he might have reflected in the painting. At that time when he was painting Napoleon Bonaparte was invading the world and most probably these may be the army of Bonaparte brutally executing the people which we can call the military execution. The black dressing of army is symbolically meaningful, suggesting their cruelty and brutality.
The dead bodies and the texture of the blood suggest that the execution is in progress and the front space suggests the probability of other people being shot one by one. It has been suggested by the fixed gun to the yellow and white dressed boy, his yellow trousers symbolically suggest his closeness to the other people while the white shirt symbolizes the innocence of the other people as well as the boy. Even though he has no other chance than accept surrender. He seems to be emotionally protesting against the brutality of the army. The people behind him closing their eyes and ears suggest that they had already seen and heard the shouting; they want to avoid this sensory perception so they are closing their sense organs. We can also see the contrast between weapon and weaponless people, cruelty and innocence, horror and uncertainty as well as silence and destruction.