12 Angry Men

Critical Elements of Twelve Angry Men 12th Grade

The play ‘Twelve Angry Men’ by Reginald Rose contains many elements that examine the implementation of the American justice system in 1957 and help shape the deliberations of the case. Perhaps the most important element is the relationship between Juror 3 and Juror 8, as the constant conflict between these two drives the narrative of the drama, allowing other significant elements to develop and be explored. The conflict between Juror 3 and Juror 8 does not exist in isolation – what they discuss resonates with the other Jurors who naturally gravitate to one ‘side’ or another. The jurors’ interactions expose the play’s other important element – prejudice. This integral theme would appear to be the driving force for the initial ‘guilty’ role. However, the conflict between Juror 3 and 8 also stimulates discussion on the reliability of the evidence presented. This leads to the next important element – reasonable doubt – being acknowledged as a possibility by the Jurors. Without the conflict between Jurors 3 and 8 none of the other elements would have developed, therefore resulting in the certain execution of a potentially innocent youth.

From the beginning of the play the audience can see the jury room is split into warring blocks...

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