Twelve Angry Men Analysis

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Scott Lorimor ENG 1213 September 8th, 2013 Justice For All Reginald Rose’s play, “Twelve Angry Men” is a play about the contemporary justice system, morality, and the affect of external influence on justice itself. The life of a young man hangs in the balance as twelve jurors retire to deliberate the verdict. Each character remains anonymous to emphasis, that as jurors, they are ordinary people, charged with a most important duty. Differing in temperament and personality, the characters serve as an accurate representation of society. As the play progresses many themes become apparent: justice, doubt, mercy, prejudice, even fathers and sons. Despite this complexity, Twelve Angry Men illustrates that these opposing concepts must exist, as they are inextricably bound in the formulation of justice. The father/son relationship juxtaposition between juror eight and juror three sets the major conflict, right and wrong, reasonable and unreasonable, merciful and merciless. Juror eight never mentions having a son, but his desire to seek justice through mercy when he says, “This boy’s circumstances contribute to why he is such an angry kid. He’s grown up in an unfavorable environment, which is unfavorable in part due to how we treat those living in such environments. We owe him, a little discussion, our due diligence,” (Rose, 5) resonates as paternal, projecting compassion of a father. Contrasting with juror three whose estranged relationship with his son demonstrates his preconceived prejudice. He projects guilt on the defendant, based on his own failures as a father. The prejudice of juror three and other jurors’ has considerable influence in the initial eleven-to-one guilty vote. The powerful influence of certain juror prejudice creates the theme of one against many. Juror eight, the protagonist, stands alone against the antagonistic eleven other jurors. This is

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