Twelve Angry Men
Democracy and the right to serve as a juror are a great privilege and responsibility which is not to be taken lightly, as see n in Twelve Angry Men. How does Rose use the play to reflect these themes? In Reginald Rose Twelve Angry Men, Rose uses the play to reflect the duty and responsibility of a juror. Rose uses the characters to reflect different themes of the play. As a democratic country, jurors have a great privilege and responsibility and it shouldn’t be taken lightly as some juror’s demonstrated. Rose represents different personalities and beliefs with each juror.
A young man’s life is at stake, most of the juror’s assume he is guilty on the first vote. But luck for the boy is that the 8th juror who wants it to be a fair trial and wants to “talk this thing out”. A fair trial that everyone is entitled to. Juror 8th is in contrast with the other jury members who allow personal bias to make up their verdict and decisions. Rose starts of the play with the judge stating the duty of the jurors, and that they have to come up with a unanimous verdict. The play progresses with the changing of individual juror’s minds. Rose represents juror 8 as the protagonist and the hero of the case.
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Juror 8 represents the strengths of the jury systems. Juror 8 insists on looking at the facts in the case even though everyone else has already got their mind made up. In the play juror 8 is used to represent a juror who is doing his duty the right way. He is patient , tolerant and thinks about reasonable doubt. Even tho juror 8 was shadowed by 11 other jury members, he still stood his ground and wanted a fair trial. Rose portrayed the 8th juror as justice. Juror 8th stated “Nobody has to prove otherwise. The burden of proof is on the prosecution. The defendant doesn’t have to open his moth.
That’s in the constitution. You hear it!. ” He is the first one in the play to vote not guilty while the others straight away made up their mind to vote guilty. But why do they have their minds made up? Why are they so convinced the young boy is guilty? This is where Rose uses the central issue of the play ‘a murder trial’ to expose the hidden biases of his characters, who come to represent society as a whole. As a juror you have to put aside your personal beliefs and conflicts and fulfil the duty of a juror properly. Rose uses two main characters to represent some people who are voting on ersonal beliefs and not correctly fulfilling their responsibilities. They are juror 10 and 3. Juror 10 is a very unreasonable person and a bigot. He vote’s not guilty because the young boy’s background is not ‘Angelo American’. He is racist and does not like people that are not like him and angrily says “You know how those people are! “. This causes the other juror’s to see what type of person juror 10 is. Juror 9 sides with juror 8 after he recognising the type of person juror 10 is. Juror 3 had a different and more personal bias that affects his decision.
He is angry with his son, who is also a young boy like the defendant, over a family matter that broke his heart, who is going to get his revenge by voting guilty. Regardless of what the facts are he does not want to change his mind. Rose uses juror 3 as the antagonist of the play and a key example of someone who is bringing personal conflicts to the court case and not giving the defendant a fair trial. Juror 3 states ‘that goddamn rotten kid. I know him. What they are like. What they do to you. How they kill you every day.. ”. Juror 8 stands by justice and try’s his hardest to put sense into juror 3.
Juror 3 finally faces his conflict regarding his son and choses to do the right thing and vote ‘not guilty’. Other juror’s in the play that were taking the court case lightly were juror 12 and 7. Rose represents these people as men that just want the decision made so they can go home early. The have lack of effort and show some of the flaws of the jury system. Juror 12 is an advertising agent, is bored and keeps switching sides just because he wants to go home early. The guilt or innocence of the young defendant doesn’t matter to him. Juror 8 forces him to face the situation which leads him to change his vote.
Rose uses juror 7 to show the attitude of a person not wanting to serve in the jury. Juror 7 is more interested in his baseball game that night, he just wants to leave. Rose shows that juror 7 isn’t fulfilling his responsibilities, he eventually changes his vote due to majority voting not guilty. A few jurors like juror 4 and juror 11 show different personalities. Juror 4 is very logical, critical with the evidence and very well spoken. Rose uses juror 4 to show a very reasonable juror who is looking at facts more than personal bias. Juror 11 is an immigrant and a victim of great injustice.
He is seeking justice to be done. He is very appreciate of the justice systems. Rose represents juror number 5 as a person who uses his personal and life experience to form a not-guilty opinion. Using his experiences in the slums and knife fighting, he shows the possibilities. Rose sets the play in a very hot and sweaty closed room, which a few jurors want to escape. The setting causes a lot of frustration and anger with the jury members. Using the play Rose showcases different themes of being a juror. He uses the characters to represent different attitudes the responsibilities of being juror.
Reginald Rose’s play showcases the themes of being a juror through his characters and how some are not taking the privilege as a juror properly and finding justice. Characters like juror 8 represents the strengths of the jury system. He is very logical and take his responsibilities seriously. Rose uses the play to show some juror’s like 10 and 3 who are using personal bias and beliefs to come up with their verdict. Rose uses juror 3 as the main opposition of juror 8. Regardless of what the facts are he still wants revenge for his own son, he votes guilty. He later on changes his vote due to the heroism of juror 8.
Being a juror is a great privilege, but there are people who don’t take it seriously. Rose uses characters like juror 12 and 7 as people who are very careless and not fulfilling their duty properly to show some of the flaws of the jury system. He uses characters that are for and also against due to personal reasons to represent a group of men who don’t know each other but come together to decide a young boy’s fate. The jurors are both the system’s greatest strength and its greatest weakness. Rose reinforces juror 8 as a person fulfilling his responsibilities and taking a great privilege as a juror properly, and shows how it should be always.