who is the protagonist in this play and what is he doing when we first see him?
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The protagonist is 8th Juror. When we first meet him, 8th Juror is the only one in the room who has voted not-guilty, and he is defending his stance.
THREE. Somebody’s in left field. (To EIGHT) You think he’s not guilty?
EIGHT (quietly). I don’t know.
THREE. I never saw a guiltier man in my life. You sat right in court and heard the same thing I did. The man’s a dangerous killer. You could see it.
EIGHT. He’s nineteen years old.
THREE. That’s old enough. He knifed his own father. Four inches into the chest. An innocent nineteen-year-old kid. They proved it a dozen different ways. Do you want me to list them?
TEN (to EIGHT). Well, do you believe his story?
EIGHT. I don’t know whether I believe it or not. Maybe I don’t.
SEVEN. So what’d you vote not guilty for?
EIGHT. There were eleven votes for guilty. It’s not so easy for me to raise my hand and send a boy off to die without talking about it first.
12 Angry Men