“In reaching the verdict, the jurors reconsider both their understanding of the case and their understanding of themselves.” Discuss
Twelve Angry Men, written by Reginald Rose in 1957, portrays the intense discussion between 12 jurors in the American jury about a 16 year old boy, who is accused of killing his own father, and charged with “premeditated homicide”, the most serious charge in court. It explores the flaws of human nature, and the impacts of misinterpretations of the case can have on the defendant. However, they play also illustrates when jurors reassess the case and themselves, they will finally follow the judge’s words, which is to “separate the facts from the fancy.” Throughout the play, all jurors reconsiders about the case and themselves, nonetheless not all succeeds. The 4th Juror is the only character which successfully renewed his knowledge about the case and himself. Characters such as the 6th juror develops new understanding of the case but is still a few steps from truly knowing himself. While jurors such as the 10th juror, is forced to alter his vote despite rejecting all of other juror’s arguments.
The 4th Juror gains new understandings of the case when the women’s testimony that “she saw” the boy commit the murder is questioned. The 9th juror observantly identified the “strange marks” on the women’s face and confirmed with the 4th juror that it is eyeglasses’ marks and it would be unreasonable for someone to wear glasses to bed as well as to see the murder “sixty feet away in the dark”. The 4th juror claims he “never thought of that”, which symbolizes his acceptance of the flaw in his logic which he is extremely proud of as a broker. His new self-understanding is illustrated by his last line in the play, “let him live”. Through most of the play he presents himself as an extremely logical person, and most of the evidences he present comes from an objective view, however, the quote “Let him live” clearly comes from a subjective view....
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