Twelve Angry Men
unanimous – complete agreement with no one dissenting
a person who flees one country and seeks safety somewhere else el – a train of the same design as a subway train that runs on tracks elevated a few stories above street level.
retire – to leave the open court to go to a private room
calculus – a complicated mathematical process
belligerently – in a hostile or angry manner
monopoly – the exclusive ownership of a business
switch knife – more commonly referred to as switchblade, one whose spring-loaded blade is concealed inside the body of the knife
proposition – a deal; bargain
bickering – arguing
mugging – a physical attack to take money or goods from another person breeding ground – a place that feeds and nourishes the growth of what is born there flimsy – weak and thin
1. In your own words, state what instructions the judge gives to the jurors. How many jurors must vote guilty for the accused to be convicted?
The judge tells them that if they have reasonable doubt, they must declare the defendant not guilty. All twelve must vote unanimously; otherwise, there will be no verdict, and the result will be a hung jury, which means there would be another trial.
2. Before the jurors are locked in their room, what is the last thing they hear that might influence their thinking when deciding the defendant’s guilt or innocence? What the Judge says to the Jurors.
3 Describe the staging for this play and indicate what mood the staging generates. (In addition to the set, mention something about the climate and temperature of the set.) The stage is set as a bare, drab room with only one window. The only furniture is a table and twelve straight wooden chairs. It is a bare, drab room that is probably depressing, even in good circumstances. On the day depicted, it is hot and stuffy, late in the afternoon, and everyone is tired and uncomfortable.
4. Of what is the defendant accused and what evidence is there against him?
A young man is accused of murdering his father.
a. The murder weapon looks like a knife that he had, but claims to have lost. b. He has been in trouble with the law himself and has served time for participating in a knife fight.
c. The woman across the street claims to have seen the boy do it. d. The man downstairs claims to have heard the boy threaten and stab his father. The man also claims to have reached his door in time to see the boy run down the stairs.
5. Who is the protagonist in this play and what is he doing when we first see him? Juror Eight is the protagonist. When we first see him, he is staring thoughtfully out of the window.
6. Who does it appear will be his major antagonist? How is this antagonist differentiated from the other jurors?
Juror Three is loud, bossy, and opinionated, and will probably be in opposition to the protagonist.
7. What will be the cause of the conflict between the protagonist and antagonist? On the surface they are arguing about the guilt of the boy. It later becomes, however, a personality clash and an argument about justice and fairness.
8. To quickly identify and differentiate among his characters, Rose uses a number of stereotypes. Identify at least three of them.
1. The foreman is of the type who takes authority seriously and is impressed with his own importance in his role.
2. Juror Two is a meek, quiet man.
3. Juror Three is a loud man with strong opinions, is not easily swayed, shows signs of sadism, and is intolerant of others’ opinions.
4. Juror Four is a self-confident businessman. He appears to think himself superior to the others and is interested only in facts and how they add up.
5. Juror Five is a good-hearted, poor, young man, who grew up in the slums. 6. Juror Six is a blue-collar type; honest but plodding.
7. Juror Seven is a loud, flashy salesman.
8. Juror Eight is the type of man who is fair, thoughtful, and kindly; he considers the hard life of the accused as a factor....
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