1. To what extent is its historical period relevant to a discussion of “Twelve Angry Men”?
2. What can we conclude about the 8th juror’s personality from pages 1-7 of the play?
3. We never learn the characters’ names. Why does Rose choose to identify the men only by jury number and how does this affect the way we relate to the characters?
4. Read pages 7-15, how are we encouraged to sympathise with the 8th juror?
5. Read [pages 15-19, does 8th juror’s revelation about the second knife change your opinion at this stage about the defendant’s guilt or innocence?
6. On page 31, the characters exit to the washroom. Why? How does this affect the scene?
7. At the end of Act 1, to what extent are the characters presented as being either “good” or “bad” and to what extent are they complex and sometimes contradictory?
8. What changes are evident in 3rd and 10th juror’s speech and behaviour when they are in a minority and not safe majority? Ref pages 47-50.
9. Read pg 50 of the play. Why does the 11th juror believe jury duty is such a “remarkable’ aspect of the democratic process? Consider his personal background in your response
10. In pages51-54, 10th juror’s prejudices are revealed. How does Rose relate prejudice to fear?
11. 12th juror is the only one to change his vote more than once. What does this tell you about his character and how is he different to the others?
12. Why do you think 3rd juror finally change his vote?
13. How does Rose ensure that we judge 3rd juror’s stubbornness as a negative instead of a positive character trait?
14. The relationship between 3rd and 8th jurors is the central one in the play. Identify other important relationships between characters and discuss how they differ from this one.
15. Consider the play’s title. What might be the significance?
16. In what way does the 8th juror prove that democracy must be the responsibility of each and every individual?
17. To what extent is the 3rd juror a sympathetic character?
18. To what extent is the 10th juror the most frightening character in the play? Why?
19. Is it reasonable doubt that leads to the “not guilty” verdict, simple logic or a combination of both?
20. Does Rose suggest that there can be no such thing as a “fact,” or does he simply argue that it is difficult to establish the truth of any given “fact?”
21. In his play, what view does Rose present of the ageing process? Consider not only the 9th juror, but also the elderly witness and the female witness who was wearing “brand new clothes that should have been worn by a younger woman.” (pg 69)
22. What point do you think the play may be attempting to make about leadership in a democracy?
23. How does the play communicate the idea that democracy is an individual concept?
24. According to the play, what are some of the greatest dangers of allowing personal bias to go unchecked?
25. Are the issues of civic duty and social responsibility explored in Rose’s play relevant in contemporary Australian society?
26. In what ways are images of youth connected to the concept of powerlessness?
27. In what ways is the American justice system portrayed as weak and vulnerable?
28. Does the play privilege any one group of decision-making factors over the others, or suggest that any particular variables are more valid than others?
1. “12AM is best interpreted as an attack on the jury system.” Do you agree?
2. “Despite questioning the ultimate fairness and reliability of the jury system, 12AM is, at heart, a tribute to this system.” Discuss.
3. “We have reasonable doubt and this is a safeguard that has