12 Angry Men

An Objective Perspective: Logos, Ethos, and Juror Four

June 7, 2019 by Essay Writer

“Insufficient facts always invite danger” declared Spock to Captain Kirk as the U.S.S. Enterprise was on deep alert after discovering a sleeper cell in space with seventy-two unconscious super-humans inside (Coon, 1967). His tone cautionary, Spock expressed through this quote the necessity to base theories on logic alone for deficient facts “invite danger”. In Star Trek: Space Seed, Spock encounters a mysterious sleeper cell in space filled with unconscious super-humans dating back centuries, leading him to inspect for sufficient evidence necessary to formulate an accurate theory. Like Spock, juror four stresses to his colleagues the necessity of using sufficient logic and facts to formulate an accurate conclusion to a perplexing situation. In Twelve Angry Men, juror four’s appeals to logos and ethos illustrate the pragmatic reasoning and impartial judgement that jurors must display in the judicial process.

Exhibiting an appeal to logos, juror four relies heavily on authoritative source and deduction which illustrates his pragmatism. Explaining his rationale behind his guilty vote, juror four says, “I still believe the boy is guilty of murder. I’ll tell you why. To me, the most damning evidence was given by the woman across the street who claimed she actually saw the murder committed” (Rose, 60). Juror four appeals to logos through this statement because he deductively predicates his claim that “the boy is guilty of murder” with authoritative source and evidence from the witness’ testimony. By providing context and legitimate justification behind his guilty vote, juror four reinforces the notion that his opinion is purely grounded in pragmatic inferences and plausibility.

Similarly, juror four logically voices his skepticism about the defendant by recalling facts from the case: “The boy’s entire story is flimsy. He claimed he was at the movies. That’s a little ridiculous, isn’t it? He couldn’t even remember what pictures he saw” (Rose, 18). Juror four again utilizes an appeal to logos by deductively backing his claim that the “boy’s entire story is flimsy” with authoritative source from defendant’s testimony that stated “he couldn’t remember what pictures he saw”. Juror four’s reliance on this authoritative source as a basis for his skepticism showcases the value he places logic and sensibility when voicing his opinion. Likewise, after deliberating over new evidence from the trial that he hadn’t considered earlier, juror four states, “She did wear glasses. Funny. I never thought of it. I’m convinced” (Rose, 62). Juror four’s appeals to logos by affirming he’s “convinced” only after deliberating over a previously unconsidered authoritative source. Through this affirmation, juror four communicates that only arguments based on authoritative sources can persuade him, showcasing how rationally and sensibly he formulates his conclusions.

Juror four’s ethos, particularly his credibility and clear motives, showcase his desire for objective judgement in the case. Bothered by the contentious atmosphere in the room, juror four attempts to instill civility in the room by stating, “I don’t see any need for arguing like this. I think we ought to be able to behave like gentlemen” (Rose, 16). Through this statement, juror four constructs an appeal to ethos by establishing his clear motives through his insistence that everyone show decorum to one another “like gentlemen”. By insisting that a certain level of respectability is established for one another, juror four exposes his desire to not let the other juror’s combative attitude towards each other cloud their objectivity and judgement towards the case. Similarly, while voicing his concerns for the verdict, juror four inquires juror twelve for his opinion on the matter: “What do you think about it?” (Rose, 60). In this statement, juror four again formulates an appeal to ethos by establishing his credibility to the other jurors as someone receptive and open-minded to other’s input. By exhibiting open-mindedness, juror four establishes his clear motives that all judgment be based on deliberation and discussion rather than emotional instincts or bias. Likewise, after contemplating new evidence, juror four admits he can’t fairly justify his guilty vote anymore: “I’m sorry. There’s reasonable doubt in my mind” (Rose, 62). By exposing this change of heart, juror four appeals to ethos by illustrating his clear motive of deriving the justified verdict, rather than proving his long-standing position correct even in the face of overwhelming oppositional evidence. By establishing his clear motive of impartially reaching a verdict, juror four demonstrates his unbiased judgement and objectivity in the case.

Juror four showcases throughout the proceedings his strict adherence to pragmatism and objectivity when formulating conclusions to decide his verdict vote. This combination of logic and integrity portrays juror four as the near-perfect juror, contrasting him from the many irrational and prejudiced jurors he contemplated with throughout the proceedings. Like most of the characters in Twelve Angry Men, jurors are often unable to recognize their own biases and judgement flaws when mulling over trial evidence. A study published in the British Psychological Society’s Legal and Criminological Psychology Journal found that “pre-trial bias and jurors’ understanding of the concept of beyond reasonable doubt have a significant impact on the verdict they are likely to deliver in court” (Baksi, 2014). What this suggests is that jurors often rely on instincts and intuition to formulate their verdict rather than approaching the situation with an “innocent until proven guilty” mindset . Because of this, many cases decided by a jury are unjustly guilty of punishing innocent people for crimes they didn’t commit. Furthermore, unless jurors discipline themselves to only view cases objectively and logically like juror four, wrongful judgement will continue to persist.

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Twelve Angry Men as an Allegory

May 3, 2019 by Essay Writer

Twelve Angry Men is an allegorical play written by Reginald Rose in 1955. It depicts the way in which economic, social and cultural factors can have a significant impact on the process of justice. Rose encapsulates 1950s America through each of the 12 jurors, giving them back-stories relating to economic, social and cultural factors.

Post-war America flourished with wealth, production, and use of income and wealth on commodities. While America was emerging as a superpower in the world, Europeans were penny-pinching and living in a time of austerity. Thus, with immigrants from Europe came a sense of xenophobia and racism within Americans. An example of the bigoted and racist persona is Juror 10, to which he refers to people in the ‘slums’ as ‘common ignorant slob[s]’. Rose is criticizing the racist attitudes of society in 1950s America through the character of Juror 10, as he is an elderly man with a merciless approach to new things. He does this through the contrast between Juror 9 and 10. Juror 9 is also elderly, with his opinion often being overlooked, however he understands, to some extent, the legal system, the role of a juror and the method behind ‘reasonable doubt’. He has taken the time to try to modernize and relate to the younger generations, rather than being ignorant and uninformed like Juror 9. Rose is criticizing the older generations values and the oblivious attitudes employed by some members of the elderly generation. Another example is Juror 11’s background. Rose welcomes those in society who speak out against others who are narrow-minded and discriminatory to those in a lower class, and Juror 11’s attention to detail and understanding of ‘responsibility’ engages into this. Juror 11 understands that ‘facts may be coloured by the personalities who present them’, and that respect for the legal system and the law aids in the process of a progressive society. Hence, Rose’s appreciation of the legal system highlights his disdain of social class prejudice and racism through the factors of commercial gain.

The role of a juror is to disregard any outside influences and solely focus on the job at hand, and though each of the jurors will have pre-disposed ideas and thoughts, some will display them, and some will not. As a result of being in a society, each juror has some form of pre-conceived beliefs, and their job is to put those aside and focus on the case, to decide whether the accused is guilty or not guilty. An example of how outside stimuli have influenced the decisions made in the jury room is when Juror 3 states that ‘we’re trying to put a guilty man in the chair where he belongs.’ Rose is criticizing the ill-informed nature of some members of society through showing what Juror 3 thinks his job is. His predetermined set of values shine through, and Rose is exposing the disregard and disrespect of justice. Another example of how outside influences can impact the decisions in a jury room are when Juror 4 says ‘The slums are a breeding ground for criminals.” Rose is chastising the class gap in society through this blatant display of social prejudice. Also, Juror 7 is more interested in going to the baseball game, and only changes his vote so he can go home. He is bored and uninterested in the case, and can’t be bothered to be involved. Rose explores the blatant insult of justice that embodies many Americans, reprehending the ill-informed ways of living that some choose to live. Thus, social factors can largely impact the course of justice.

The cultural factors surrounding the production of this play can give great insight into Rose’s principles and what he values. When this play was written, Americans were convinced the Soviet Union was going to take over the world, and anybody sympathetic to the idea of Communism was now considered an enemy. People were turning in family, friends, and relatives in order to save themselves, and did so without any solid evidence. This defied the burden of proof and the idea of reasonable doubt, and left Americans fearful of expressing their views in fear of being labeled a communist sympathizer. Rose wrote Twelve Angry Men in order to reflect America’s society at the time, using the play to show Americans that what they were doing was morally wrong through buying into the paranoia of the era. Rose wished to educate and motivate people to speak out, rather than just being a follower. An example of this is when the first vote is taken, and some hands ‘go up immediately’, whereas ‘several others go up more slowly’. This is a prime example of the repercussions of McCarthyism, of which Rose is criticising. People in 1950s America were too worried about expressing their own views and saving themselves than ensuring the course of justice wasn’t obscured. Rose wished to highlight this in the play, and did so by instilling fear in everyday citizens. Thus, cultural factors are a huge impact on the process of justice, for it defied the sole underlying function of the system.

Rose wrote this allegorical play to instill fear into Americans, and to educate them on the significant impact their attitudes and actions can have on the legal system, and how they may corrupt it. The law is created to govern, not to undermine, and Rose used economic, social and cultural factors to portray this to his audience.

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The Importance Of Justice In Relations To Past Experiences

April 10, 2019 by Essay Writer

In Reginald Rose’s play entitled “12 Angry Men”, a story is developed around the actions of a jury on a murder trial, which deals with many concepts important to one’s self and one’s decisions. The most important of these concepts is a personal sense of justice, which is outlined by twelve different jurors all with their own definition of the word, and their experiences which have shaped the said definition. This is exemplified through the actions of Juror Number 3 and 5 most specifically, as their histories and experiences are most intricately developed by Mr. Rose. The importance of justice to a particular person is directly related to their past experiences as demonstrated through the individual jurors’ reactions to the potential treatment of the accused.

Juror Number 3’s distain for the accused combined with his harsh definition of justice can be rooted from his difficult past and experiences with adolescents. It is noted within the play that Juror 3’s hatred towards rebellious young men is very likely a result of the way his son treated him when he says: “I’ve got a kid…When he was fifteen he hit me in the face. He’s big you know. I haven’t seen him in three years, rotten kid! You work your heart out…” (8). This suggests that at a different time Number 3 may have been more compassionate and understanding with teenagers, but the incidents that occurred between him and his son eliminated this feeling completely. Juror 3 ‘s sense of justice seems to come from a much more physical sense of the word, as the way he speaks of his son as well as the way he speaks during normal conversation in the play demonstrates a very violent and abrasive behaviour: “I’ve got a mind to walk around this table and belt him one”(14). He relies less on discussion and debate to win him arguments and more on physical intimidation, and this seeps through in the way in which he hopes for the trial to be dealt with (the accused being executed, despite an abundance of contradictory evidence to the belief that he is guilty). Juror 3 also has very little trust, towards the accused and even towards his fellow jurors, and this is once again thought to be a demonstration of his past: “I’ve seen all kinds of dishonesty in my day” (20). Evidently Juror 3 takes on an ideology that is more focused on “guilty until proven innocent”, and believes many people to be dishonest and untrustworthy without considering who they are or their backgrounds, shaping his disgust towards the accused. Juror 5’s history and experience in the slums is exhibited through his compassionate and empathetic behaviour.

Within the play Juror 5 demonstrates and discusses the fact that he can relate to the accused’s situation based on his past experiences with a similar living environment: “I’ve lived in a slum all my life”(8). He further goes on to speak in a way that explains the way he once lived still resides in his personality to some degree (as one’s history often does): “I used to play in a backyard that was filled with garbage. Maybe it still smells on me” (8). While Juror 5 is saying that a part of him is still that child living in the slums, he is not necessarily saying that he is ashamed of it. This in itself conveys to his peers his belief that the accused should not be seen as an untrustworthy person or less deserving of their support just as default because of his circumstances. While Juror 5 discusses his past, he also admits that there are parts of such a history that one would wish to block out: (referring to seeing knife fights) “In my back yard, on my stoop, in the vacant lot across the street, too many of them…I guess you try to forgot those things” (25). While less noticeable, this may also be a reference to his connection with the accused on a different level, as they both appear to be trying to block out traumatic events on some level; the boy having trouble remembering certain events surrounding his father’s death and Juror 5 with his memory of the knife fights from his childhood. All of these factors combine to create a much more compassionate and understanding definition of justice, which he portrays through his discussions and actions with the other jurors.

While these two Juror’s beliefs greatly contrast each other, they both hold quite true to one idea; past experiences shape current beliefs and ideals. Juror 5’s traumatic past of neglect helps him develop an empathetic and compassionate sense of justice, which additionally helps him in relating to the accused. Juror 3’s past of abuse from his adolescent son and his violent behaviour (wherever that my stem from) creates an untrusting and abrasive sense of justice, which he also applies to the trial. Though it is demonstrated in many different ideas and character plots throughout the story, it is obvious that the importance of justice to a particular person is directly related to their past experiences as demonstrated through the individual jurors’ reactions to the potential treatment of the accused. Third point of defense: The Jurors without an outlined history demonstrate that even further down the road in one’s life one’s idea of justice may still be developing as shown by their abilities to influence one another during the trial.

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Two Angry Social Classes

February 12, 2019 by Essay Writer

In a hot, 1950s jury room overlooking the financial district of a city, tensions arise as 12 jurors must decide the verdict for a boy accused of murdering his father. In Reginald Rose’s Twelve Angry Men, the equilibrium between the social classes in the courtroom and the social class of the accused determines the final verdict given by the jury. Coming from different ethnic and social backgrounds, the men struggle for a consensus on the ruling. Their interactions inside the jury room represent how the different social classes treat each other in everyday life.

Inside the realm of the courtroom, the jurors are “cut off from the world” and from the substance of their everyday lives” (Munyan 1997). The trial forces them to create their own world in which they bring forth their experiences to solve the case. “The experiences, perceptions, and attitudes accumulated over a dozen disparate lifetimes [rush into a] comparatively few shared hours” (Munyan 1997). The jurors derive from different backgrounds and their decisions throughout the play reflect the social classes in which they grew up. Juror 8, who implies that he endured the slum life as a younger man, has sympathy for the accused because he recognizes how negatively the rich treat the poor. “This boy’s been kicked around all his life. You know why slum kids get that way? Because we hit ‘em on the head once a day, every day” (Rose, 5). Possibly speaking from personal experience, Juror 8 gives an example of what caused the boy to be the way he is and suggests that the other jurors owe him a few words. The boy grew up in an environment surrounded by violence and crime, which influenced his criminal record. A representative of the rich and privileged side, Juror 10 rebuffs his statement. “We don’t owe him a thing” (Rose 5). The rich never experience what the poor suffer through and in turn cannot comprehend the hardships of living a lower class life. Juror 10 then says, “You know what this trial cost? He’s lucky he got it” (Rose 5). This statement reflects how the upper class looks at the lower class: the rich are superior to the poor. The rich do not believe that the boy is even worth wasting money on for a trial simply because he comes from the slums; the better-off believe him to be guilty no matter what.

The life of this young man is on the line and the jurors determine whether he will live or die. However, for the upper-class men, the lines between work and play blur as they focus more on their frivolous privileges than on the boy’s outcome. The poor see the urgency and importance of the situation while the rich, anxious to get the trial over with, callously declare the boy guilty. Juror 7’s first line, “this better be fast. I’ve got tickets to The Seven Year Itch tonight,” suggests his lack of interest in or care for the accused because he sees the poor as inferior and unimportant (Rose 3). When Juror 8 asks the others if they still believe the boy lied about his alibi, Juror 7 says, “We could be here all night,” once again evoking his negative feelings towards the boy (Rose 10). His attitude reflects his dissatisfaction with jury duty interfering with his plans, but he projects his negativity onto the boy on trial. Attempting to heighten Juror 7’s awareness of the important situation, Juror 9 then replies, saying, “It’s only one night. A man may die” (Rose 10). Juror 9 thinks deeper about the issue at hand and knows what is at stake. He does not simply treat this case as something to get over with, but as a complicated battle with real people that could result in more social dysfunction and more death than just one isolated murder.

The jurors who clearly grew up privileged speak about poor people and slum life in a way that critically illuminates how the rich live and act. They associate all lower class people with crime, disobedience, and violence. The boy’s lower class background puts him at a disadvantage not only because the upper class generalizes about him but also because they disregard him as a person. As Juror 8 points out, “Somehow I felt the defense council never really conducted a thorough cross examination. I mean he was appointed by the court to defend the boy. He hardly seemed interested” (Rose 8). The man who was supposed to be fighting for the boy to live and go free seemed indifferent to the case, denoting that he saw it as unimportant. Indeed, the defense attorney did not take the case seriously simply because the defendant was not up to specific social standards.

Juror 10, described as “judgmental with no right,” says, “A kid kills his father. Bing! Just like that. Well, it’s the element. They let the kids run wild. Maybe it serves ‘em right” (Rose 1 & 3). He implies that these crimes happen all the time in slum life because that is, well, just how slums are. However, the jurors of the lower class background speak of the boy without consciously referring to his class status. Juror 9 acts as the voice of reason in this case, as he believes in not generalizing about a person based on socioeconomic background. “Since when is dishonesty a group characteristic? You have no monopoly on the truth” (Rose 5). The choice of the word monopoly is specific to the character Juror 9 addresses. Because he speaks to Juror 10, one who has known the advantages of money all his life, Juror 9 knows that the rich man will recognize the power that comes with monopolizing. Juror 9 then says, “What this man says is very dangerous” (Rose 5). If the rest of the world takes on the idea that the rich have a lock on what is true and accepted and that people of lower class are unimportant and untrustworthy, the world will be dangerous for anyone who goes against the upper class. After making his compelling argument demonstrating the dishonesty of poor people, Juror 10 attempts to validate a woman’s testimony, which indicates that she saw the murder happen. In response, Juror 8 asks him, “How come you believed her? She’s one of “them” too, isn’t she? (Rose 7). Juror 10 realizes his blunder in contradicting his earlier statement which stereotyped all poor people as dishonest.

Juror 3 is a representative of those who blame the poor for the downfall of society. When he first mentions his son, he says bitterly, “I’ve got a kid” (Rose 8). He tells the others that he beat his own son into becoming a man. His son left home, and Juror 3 has not seen him since. His attitude suggests that he sees his son in the accused boy and takes his anger out on him. He also takes his anger out on the poor and slum life because he thinks that these forces caused his son to leave and become the way he is. Juror 4 attacks the lower class and their way of life when he says, “The children who come out of a slum background are potential menaces to society” (Rose 8). Juror 10 agrees. “You said it there. I don’t want any part of them, believe me” (Rose 8). Based solely on harsh judgment of the lower class, the upper class defines the standards by which the poor people act. Catching them in their act of judgment, Juror 5 speaks haltingly. “I’ve lived in a slum all my life. I used to play in a backyard that was filled with garbage. Maybe it still smells on me” (Rose 8). The rich men who previously degraded his lifestyle indignantly deny that their statements meant anything personal. However, they cannot take back their offensive generalizing.

Because the divide between the rich and poor jurors is equal, Juror 8 may have used this point to his advantage when he pushes for a not guilty verdict. He realizes that he could use the sympathy of the poor jurors to build a case for the accused. According to critic Bryan Aubrey, a juror “feels driven to oppose the majority, sticking to his or her opinion” even if “there is no evidence to support.” It is possible that because of the societal oppression Juror 8 experiences as a result of living in the lower class, he craves an opportunity to oppose the majority when there is a chance that he could be successful. When the jurors review the testimony of the old man witness, both 8 and 9 suggest the possibility that the witness lied for attention (Rose 15). Noticing the details of the man’s attire and stature, Juror 9 suggests, “this is a quiet insignificant man who has been nothing all his life, [and] needs to be recognized” (Rose 16). Juror 9 relates to the old man because of the failure that he feels has descended upon his own life. They both seek to make something of themselves, be it lying under oath or keeping a boy out of the electric chair.

The different representations of social classes in the jury room clarify how people’s backgrounds affect their decisions. The lower class boy put on trial grabbed the sympathy of Juror 8, who convinced the other jurors to follow suit. Twelve Angry Men’s insights into the jury process reflect how the upper and lower classes still interact today. This drama gives a clear portrayal of the moral differences between the classes, and of how members of these groups treat others outside of their own class.

Works CitedAubrey, B. “Critical Essay on ‘Twelve Angry Men’” Drama for Students. (2006); Literature Resource Center. Web. 2 Feb. 2016. Munyan, Russ, ed. Readings on Twelve Angry Men. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1997. Print Rose, Reginald. Twelve Angry Men. msezeh.weebly.com. PDF file. 8 Feb. 2016

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Critical Elements of Twelve Angry Men

January 25, 2019 by Essay Writer

The play ‘Twelve Angry Men’ by Reginald Rose contains many elements that examine the implementation of the American justice system in 1957 and help shape the deliberations of the case. Perhaps the most important element is the relationship between Juror 3 and Juror 8, as the constant conflict between these two drives the narrative of the drama, allowing other significant elements to develop and be explored. The conflict between Juror 3 and Juror 8 does not exist in isolation – what they discuss resonates with the other Jurors who naturally gravitate to one ‘side’ or another. The jurors’ interactions expose the play’s other important element – prejudice. This integral theme would appear to be the driving force for the initial ‘guilty’ role. However, the conflict between Juror 3 and 8 also stimulates discussion on the reliability of the evidence presented. This leads to the next important element – reasonable doubt – being acknowledged as a possibility by the Jurors. Without the conflict between Jurors 3 and 8 none of the other elements would have developed, therefore resulting in the certain execution of a potentially innocent youth. From the beginning of the play the audience can see the jury room is split into warring blocks between those who vouch for a guilty verdict and those who vouch a non-guilty verdict. This is mainly due to the fact that the jury room is verdict driven; the discussion is shaped by the battles between the jurors defending their early verdict choices. Juror 8 is the most significant character as he is the only juror to vote ‘not guilty’ within the first moments of the play, thereby initiating the central conflict. Just as the 8th Juror is a figurehead for the boys’ innocence, the 3rd Juror is a figurehead for the boys’ guilt. The 3rd Juror’s lack of compassion stands in contrast to the compassion of the 8th. Although he claims to ‘have no personal feelings about this’ case, it is clear that he has a very personal motivation for wanting to convict the young defendant: ‘That goddamn rotten kid, I know him, what they’re like. What they do to you, how they kill you every day.’ It is obvious the relationship between these two characters is a turbulent and conflicted one. Through the 8th Juror Rose highlights the power of the lone voice amongst most overwhelming majority. When asked to justify his not-guilty vote, the 8th Juror does not come up with arguments for the boy’s innocence but rather highlights that ‘it is not easy for [him] to raise [his] hand and send a boy off to die without talking about it first’. The 3rd Juror is unwilling to take time with the discussions and is convinced that the case is ‘one of those open and shut things’. The 8th Juror thinks that maybe ‘we owe the boy a few words’ and this line opens the door to robust debate, in particularly between the 3rd and 8th Jurors. While the 8th Juror is concerned with ensuring the defendant has a fair trial and that the jury consider the details carefully, the 3rd Juror who is impatient and would rather they ‘stop wasting time’. Several key moments illustrate the nature of the relationship between the 3rd and 8th Jurors. In one, the tension comes to a close in a dramatic sequence in which the 3rd and 8th Jurors re-enact the stabbing and the 3rd Juror stabs down as the blade stops about an inch from the 8th Juror’s chest. This moment characterizes the personalities as well as their interactions, as the 3rd Juror is generally more aggressive both physically and mentally, while 8th stands firm in his beliefs and opinions, displaying tolerance and compassion towards others. Without these two characters there would be no exploration of the prejudices held by the Jurors, as their conflicted relationship allows personalities of the other Jurors to be revealed and shows the audience potentially why they are voting the way they do. However, although the relationship between the two is an integral part in the part, prejudice is just as significant in driving the narrative of the drama within the play. Prejudice is observed on many levels throughout the play; the most obvious is racial. While the race of the accused is never revealed, the audience understands that the boy is a minority of some sort, as he is often referred to as ‘one of them’. When looking at prejudice in a larger sense it is quite clear that many of the jurors enter the jury room with preconceived notions and irrational ideas. From the first and second vote in the play the audience is exposed to Juror 3’s and Juror 10’s prejudice quite openly; ‘The kid’s a dangerous killer, you can see it… it’s the kids, the way they are nowadays.’ The 7th Juror is another who pre-judges the boy based on his background and previous experiences: ‘Look at his record, he was in the children’s court’. The 10th Juror also openly states his prejudice towards the boy: ‘These people are born to lie, that’s the way they are and no intelligent man is gonna tell me otherwise’. The 4th Juror has similar beliefs: ‘This boy, let’s say he’s a product of a filthy neighborhood and a broken home… children from slum backgrounds are potential menaces to society.’ Juror 10 believes ‘those’ people are ‘wild animals’ and this case represents an opportunity to get one before ‘his kind gets us’. ’I’ve lived among them all my life, you can’t believe a word they say … they’re born liars.’ The prejudices and emotional baggage of Juror 3 become quite prominent as he accuses other jurors of having ‘hearts bleedin’ all over the floor about slum kids and injustice’ and warns ‘he’s got to burn. You’re letting him slip through our fingers’. He says he’d willingly ‘pull the switch’ on the young defendant.Other jurors are less prejudiced. Juror 5, who comes from a difficult background, takes offence as he feels that there is some prejudice aimed at him due to his upbringing. Juror 11 can also relate to being offended: ‘This sort of sentiment I can understand’, he says, suggesting that he too has suffered prejudice in the past. And although earlier in the play he ‘had no personal feelings about the case’, Juror 8 accuses Juror 3: ‘You want to see this boy die because you personally want it, not because of the facts. You’re a sadist.’ The different types of and reactions to prejudice demonstrate that prejudice is integral as a theme and would appear to be the driving force for the initial ‘guilty’ role; however, the conflict between the Jurors stimulates discussion on the reliability of the evidence presented, so reasonable doubt then comes into play as another theme. The audience never finds out for sure whether the accused is guilty or innocent. While much of the evidence is questioned and manipulated by the 8th Juror, by the end of the case there remains a tremendous amount of evidence built up against the accused. However it is still “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the jurors must find the accused guilty in order to convict him, and they all ultimately come to the conclusion that they have at least some doubt. From the first scene in the play the judge says, ‘if there is a reasonable doubt then you must bring me a verdict of ‘not guilty’, however if there is no reasonable doubt you must find the accused guilty.’ The 8th Juror is first character to establish there may be reasonable doubt present in this case: ‘I’m not asking anyone to accept it; I’m just saying it’s possible.’ The 8th Juror proceeds to demonstrate throughout the case how facts ‘may be colored by the personalities of the people who present them’ and things may not be as they first seem. The frequency in which the term ‘fact’ is used throughout the play causes questioning of what constitutes ‘fact’. Its’s statements like ‘let’s talk facts, these people are born to lie, now it’s the way they are… they don’t need any big excuse to kill someone… everybody knows it’ – that are made which are evidently not ‘facts’ but are opinions expressed without any supporting evidence. This goes to prove that the word ‘fact’ does not necessarily describe an objective truth. The 8th Juror recognizes that ‘reasonable doubt… is a safeguard that has enormous value in our system. No jury can declare a man guilty unless it’s sure’, but not all Jurors agree with this opinion. ‘What reasonable doubt? That’s nothing but words.’ As the 8th Juror challenges the facts and witness testimonies throughout the play, regularly introducing new information to the audience, the other Jurors come to realize that there are very few details of which they can be certain of. ‘There are a lot of details that never came out… I now have reasonable doubt in my mind.’ He reminds them that many things are uncertain and they should remain aware of this – ‘I think there’s enough to make us wonder… I’m just saying it’s possible’ – by keeping a healthy attitude of reasonable doubt rather than jumping to conclusion and making sudden decisions which ultimately can impact on someone’s life. Therefore reasonable doubt is a vital element in the play as it explores the idea that we can rarely be absolutely certain of ‘facts’.It is true to say the relationship between the 3rd and 8th Jurors plays an integral part in the play ‘Twelve Angry Men’; however, it is not necessarily the most important element present. Prejudice and reasonable doubt are themes that are just as significant, by driving the narrative of the drama throughout the play. Prejudice and the conflict that comes along with it brings out the personalities of each of the characters and allows the audience to see the ideas, beliefs and opinions of the Jurors, making this theme is significant. Without reasonable doubt none of the other elements would have developed and discussion on the reliability of the case wouldn’t have been present, leading to no proper exploration of the case. This proves that although the relationship between Juror 3 and Juror 8 is a significant element in the play, prejudice and reasonable doubt are just as essential in the exploration of the play.

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