In Reginald Rose’s “Twelve Angry Men”, Juror 3 seems to be a really stubborn, prejudiced, angry man, but in reality he is very experienced and has lived a complicate life. The play takes place in a jury room of a 1950’s murder trial where a young boy has been accused of the murder of his father. It follows the twelve jurors as the deliberate and discuss the case on the hot, stormy summer’s day. Throughout the duration of the play Juror 3 comes across as the antagonist and seems to be the simplest character, but as the script advances it is learnt that he is a hard worker, has a bad relationship with his son and bottles up his emotions. By using anger as his defence mechanism to deal with his traumatic experiences and emotions, he makes his very complicated self, seem small minded.
The third Juror’s stubborn nature seems to be a downfall throughout the play, but in his everyday life it comes across as hard work that gets him where he needs to be. He reveals to the other juror’s before the deliberation begins that he owns his own messenger service business. He tells them the name of his business “The Beck and Call Company” (it was his “wife’s idea”) and states that he “employ[s] thirty-seven people [and he] started with nothing.” Juror 3 is obviously proud of his hard work and likes to tell people of it, especially since without his stubborn nature to never give up he would not have all that he does. He would’ve been told numerous times before starting his messenger service that he would not be able to do it and that he wasn’t good enough, but he blocked out their opinions and kept going, which is what he is seen attempting to do in the play. So while his persistent, tenacious nature can cause Juror 3 to come across as an annoying, small minded man, unwilling to listen to other’s opinions, it is much more complicated than what meets the eye and is really how he has learnt to get through life.
It is revealed to the audience of “Twelve Angry Men” that Juror 3 has had a troublesome relationship with his son. This is significant to the play because he finds it difficult to separate the accused from his own son and uses his broken relationship to based prejudice against the younger generations, otherwise known as ageism. His negative emotional attitude toward young boys and men is most likely caused by the fight with his son, which is revealed to the rest of the Jurors by stating “He hit me in the face […] haven’t seen him in two years.” and goes on to explain his developed bias when he refers to the accused (and presumably his son) as “rotten kids” and feels as if “you work your heart out” for them. In the Jurors attempt to create a logical reason for why his son doesn’t like him, without blaming himself, he developed a stereotype of young men which then lead to his prejudice feelings. This prejudice causes him to come across as a man who doesn’t use evidence to base his opinions and arguments, when really it has come from a traumatic life experience that gives his character more layers than what first appears on the surface.
Juror number three is seen as a very angry man, but in reality this is his defence mechanism to hide and