12 Angry Men Essay

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Twelve Angry Men highlights the importance of seeing things from more than one perspective. Discuss.

Reginald Rose’s play Twelve Angry Men emphasises the importance of seeing things from more than one perspective. Set in a New York jury room in 1957, Rose highlights how important it is that the jury discuss all of the evidence from the case in detail and from multiple angles. Representative of this notion is the 8th Juror who is willing to acknowledge alternative views or interpretations. From the outset of the play he goes against the crowd voting “not guilty”. He then considers all of the details of the evidence including the old man’s testimony and the boy’s inability to remember the movie he saw. In contrast to this character, are
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In contrast, Rose presents Juror 3 and 10 as negative characters because of their narrow-mindedness.
In juxtaposition to Juror 8 are the antagonists of the play, Juror 3 and 10- whose narrow mindedness means they cannot see the evidence from any other perspective than their own. Both of them depict a form of prejudice which obscures them from seeing the truth. The 3rd Juror has a broken relationship with his estranged son, while the 10th Juror is deeply bigoted and racist. This view consequently impacts on their ability to make rational decisions or consider other viewpoints. They believe that “the boy is guilty, period” and that there are no other possible explanations. This is evinced when the 3rd Juror discredits the 8th Juror’s opinion by saying “We’re trying to put a guilty man in the chair where he belongs and all of a sudden somebody’s telling us fairy tales- and we’re listening.” Rose portrays these two characters to be violent and irrational to convey to the audience their negative qualities. He illustrates that these jurors miss out on information if they do not consider alternative ideas and if it was up to them the boy would be sent to the death penalty within 5 minutes of the trial. Hence, Rose believes that the evidence needs to be discussed with many perspectives to eliminate possible injustices.

Overall, Rose highlights the importance of seeing things from more than one perspective. He reveals that an integral part in