12 Angry Men- Jurors 4 and 8 Essay

886 Words Jun 30th, 2011 4 Pages
Reginald Rose’s ’12 Angry Men’ brings 12 jurors together in a room to decide whether a young foreign boy is guilty of killing his father. The play is interwoven with dynamic characterisation, striking symbolism and intense moments of drama. Although Rose positions Juror 8 as the hero, the strongest character is in fact Juror 4, who is an independent thinker, rational and calm even as tension begins to build. Although Juror 4 initially votes guilty, he is able to admit his fault and change his vote.

The ability to remain independent proved to be the most important character trait of Juror 4. Throughout the play, Rose’s character is able to think freely and never lets his personal bias or peer-pressure affect his decision making. When
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Juror 4 was able to communicate his ideas and thought like a professional and did so in an organised fashion. He analysed each piece of evidence with care and used logic and his skills of deduction to guide his vote. Rose intended for the audience to realise that the not guilty vote was the right choice and used Juror 4 as a catalyst for the final vote change.

Juror 4 is able to remain calm and composed throughout the most stressful of situations. While Juror 10 exhibits racial outbursts; “They get drunk”, “That's the way they are!”, “VIOLENT!”, “These people are dangerous. They're wild. Listen to me. Listen.” Juror 4 sat through this entire scene without saying a word. It is only until Juror 10’s monologue is finished that Juror 4 speaks, calmly asking Juror 10 to “Shut [his] filthy mouth.” Juror 4 never discredits or implies anything towards the defendant and is always careful of what he says. After Juror 10’s tirade, Juror 4 tries to soften the impact created by 10; “Slums are potential breeding grounds for criminals.” He never attacks or hypes the situation at hand. He draws around ‘potential’ possibilities. Juror 4 initially had his doubts at the start of the case but was the only character that overcame his predisposition based on the analysis of facts and evidence. Rose’s character and only this character had the intelligence, confidence and persistence to keep his head in the tense moment Juror 10 created.

Juror 8 is

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