Twelve Angry Men – Analysis Questions
Act one, Pg 1-13
1. What is the setting of the drama and what is its significance? The story is set in the jury room in New York City. The significance is to emphasize the drama but to specifically illustrate how the 12 Jurors become irritated by one another due to the confined spaced and heated arguments that symbolically occur. 2. What are the judge’s instructions to the jury? What is the charge against the defendant? The Jurors are asked to “…try and separate the facts from the fancy… [and to] deliberate honestly and thoughtfully. If there is a reasonable doubt – then [they] must bring… a verdict of not guilty. If, however, there is no reasonable doubt, then… [they must] find the accused guilty. The verdict must be unanimous… and the death sentence is mandatory in this case.” The charge against the defendant is murder in first degree – premeditated homicide. 3. Discuss the emerging roles for the individual jurors, and evaluate the effectiveness of the foreman. Juror one seems to take charge and wants to get the case over with. Juror two seems to be very shy and timid and avoids conflict by drinking water as an escapist technique. Juror 3 seems to very negligent and narrow-minded. This is evident in the quote “did you ever hear so much talk about nothing?” which is said momentarily after the trial, illustrating his personal bias on the case. Juror 4 wants to “stick to the facts” and base the discussion on evidence only. Juror 5 seems to have no role in the case, playing a quiet and oblivious character. Juror 6 doesn’t have a lot to say regarding the case and seems to play an unimportant role in the discussion of the trial. Juror 7 seems to be very narrow minded, regarding the case as “a waste of time” and has an important role as a biased character. Juror 8 seems to very considerate and wants to give the defendant a chance as no one else will bother to. Juror 9 plays a quiet role in the discussion, although does deem Juror 10 as ignorant in the beginning. Juror 10 seems to be very aggressive and sarcastic and seems to show bias towards the case. Juror 11 is another very quiet character who does not seem to play an important role in the trial. Lastly, Juror 12 seems to be quite disengaged from the case and just wants a bit of entertainment which can be seen through the quote “Lucky to get a murder case.” 4. What is Juror 8’s rationale for voting not guilty?
Juror 8 he believes the defendant should be given “a few words. That’s all” and that the case should at least be given a chance. Due to the 11 Jurors voting guilty, Juror 8 claims that “[they] can’t decide in five minutes… [we’re] talking about someone’s life here”, hence the vote for not guilty. 5. Discuss the background of the young man who is on trial for killing his father. Do you think heredity or environment plays a stronger role in the child’s environment? The defendant has lived in a slum for all of his life, his mother died when he was nine. “He spent a year and a half in an orphanage while his father served a jail term for forgery.” Referring to the child, his environment definitely plays a stronger role in in his development as he hasn’t experienced a safe upbringing, which would inevitably lead him or anyone to act as those around them so they fit in, which can additionally be seen through his father’s actions. 6. How does the 10th Juror stereotype the defendant and his kind? How does Juror 9 respond? Juror 10 generalises the defendant and their kind by quoting “we’re supposed to believe the kid, knowing what he is. Listen, I’ve lived among ‘em all my life. You can’t believe a word they say. I mean, they’re born liars.” Juror 9 responds to this by deeming Juror 10 as ignorant and oblivious to the facts that are being presented.
1. What is the significance of the 3rd Juror’s revelations about his own son? The revelations show that the 3rd Jurors bias towards the defendant is...
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