Twelve Angry Men Essay

In: English and Literature

Submitted By berkay
Words 641
Pages 3
One of the strengths of ‘twelve angry men’ is rose’s ability to create a diverse case of characters with very different values and interests. Do you agree?

Set in 1950’s America, Reginald Rose’s play, Twelve Angry Men, revolves around twelve men summoned to decide the fate of a young man’s life. Taking place in a New York courtroom, it follows the deliberations of the jurors as they attempt to make a unanimous verdict as to whether or not a sixteen year old is in fact guilty of murdering his father. Throughout the play, rose demonstrates the prejudice that obstructs the course of justice, and the diversity in beliefs and principals that separate jurors from each other. Together the jurors represent the microcosm that is American Society.

For the duration of the text, each juror is only identified by a number with no evidence to suggest that they even know each other’s' names. The jury however, is a cross-section of American society as it comprises of educated, old, working-class, business and even immigrant men. This is intended by the play as the value of each juror is as a social representation, not as individuals. The 8th Juror represents possible strengths of the jury system as an aspect of the legal system. This is demonstrated by his confidence and the fact that he does not fear the idea of 'stand alone' against a potentially unanimous 'guilty' verdict, as he eventually encourages other jurors that a ‘young man's life’ is worth some discussion. Thus, through the role of the jury, Rose asserts that ordinary people ensure an effective justice system. It is evident that he ultimately focuses on the value of a jury to the system, rather than their verdict alone.

In contrast, the play also highlights potential flaws in the jury system, where prejudice obstructs the pursuit of justice. This is supported by the 3rd Juror's reluctance to change his initial…...

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