12 Angry Men Essay

Topics: Jury, Bias, Abuse Pages: 4 (1375 words) Published: August 5, 2013
‘Twelve Angry Men is a play about how power can be misused.’ In Reginald Rose’s Twelve Angry Men a theme explored is how people can misuse the power they have. Set admits the ubiquitous beauty of the New York skyline is a jury room, the arena in which the fate of a young man’s life is decided. 12 jurymen are burdened with the power to decide and must vote unanimously either guilty or not guilty and this forms the precedent for an epic battle. The authority bestowed upon these men is defined by many themes such as the struggle between subjectivity and rationality. One must understand rationality before they can comprehend why it is at the heart of righteous judgement. It is perceived as the sense of ruling that is right or just based on logic. Power conversely can be misused due to one’s own personal bias and prejudices. This is displayed in order to orientate the time period and the underlying social influences. Argument can however counteract the misguided force of bigotry as an agent of truth which is prevents the abuse of supremacy. Rose adapts his characters to these ideals by having them display the concept of active citizenship though there are some exceptions. Through these conceptions a clear perceptiveness of the correct use of power and its protruding factor of rationality will be obtained. Rose portrays rationality as the leading factor in the correct use of influence by indicating subjectivity as its main adversary. The two impressions are constantly locking horns and this is embodied by the Jurors themselves. There are characters that come from an array of professions which indicate the diversity of the group. Juror 8 and 4 are men considered to be factually based and this is made evident by their constant questioning based on logic such as “I would consider the knife to be quite strong evidence” and “let’s stick to the facts”. What they both share is a calm domineer, in particularly Juror 4 who doesn’t take off his jacket and indicates that by...
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