Twelve Angry Men Essay

Topics: Jury, Verdict, Hung jury Pages: 4 (1253 words) Published: July 27, 2013
"Its not easy to stand alone against the ridicule of others". Twelve Angry Men is more than a play, it is a reminder of our social responsibility. Discuss.

Twelve Angry Men is a legal drama, written by Reginald Rose during the heightened period of 1950's McCarthyism. The didactic play presents a cross section, examining 1950's America during a period of immense suspicion and uncertainty. Roses' play reminds us of the importance of responsibility and integrity, emphasising qualities such as courage that aid in preserving justice. The play examines the power of the "lone voice" and places a special emphasis on the serving of justice over the quest for truth through a central plot and strategic framing. The idea of time versus responsibility is also addressed by Rose as his jurors struggle between honouring their role as civil servants and desires to "be elsewhere". The didactic play uncovers the virtues of the judicial system and thus highlights the jurors responsibility and the great power that they carry. Twelve Angry men extends beyond the realms of a moralistic courtroom drama, as it is applicable to both modern and contemporary audiences to ultimately highlight the importance of greater responsibility in the real world.

The play begins with the disembodied voice of the judge, his last words of "honest deliberation...good conscious and reasonable doubt" left to resonate with the jurors as they produce a "verdict". Twelve Angry Men finishes with an enigmatic conclusion whereby the innocence of "the boy" is unknown. The framing of the play acts as a device employed by Rose to place an emphasis on the "deliberation process" and the importance of justice over the discovery of truth. "What they are supposed to do" as reiterated by Juror 8 is discuss the case and the reliability and validity of the evidence presented in court as the "burden of proof rests on the prosecution". The plot remains central, confined to the claustrophobic deliberation room on "one...
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