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Character Analysis in 12 Angry Men, Term Paper Example

Pages: 6

Words: 1556

Term Paper

All the twelve characters in the play have a particular and substantive role in the play especially towards resolving and finding the favorable judgment in the case. From the play, it is evident that both their individual characters and the characters of their colleagues influence the decisions made by these characters towards the case. It is also apparent that each actor has a different character from the rest, which brings in the concept of group dynamics into this play. The play shows that all the twelve characters were important to the final decision given at the end of the play.

The Foreman

This is also juror number one who doubles up as the group’s foreman. He rarely confronts the others yet he is stern about his role as a juror and sees it as a call for him to bring justice to any case. In essence, the foreman is the leader of the group and he is in charge of every activity of the group of jurors. Despite being among the youngest in the group, juror #1 has been tasked with the responsibility of becoming the leader in the group. His disposition is important in the play in that he presents a good image of what a real and just juror should be like. The dynamics of this group are different from the other groups in that each juror is expected to have their personal opinions. The responsibility that juror #1 holds is to present a good example to the rest rather than instructing them of what to do.

Juror Number Two

He is presented as the shyest member of the group and he is a bank clerk by profession. He has a swaying character that can be explained better by terming as lacking principles because he supports the notions of other easily. The author of the play wanted to show how adding one person who seems to just add numbers into the fray rather than adding value composes a group. The second juror is the puppet of other jurors and he takes the opinion of the last person to speak the truth and his opinion. The role of this character was to show that people mooted as useless always exist in a group and for the group to function as a unit; the other members must embrace their character (Rose, 1957).

Juror Number Three

Juror number three is the absolute antagonist in the play as he seems to contradict the opinions of the other jurors especially juror number eight. From the first instant, it is evident that juror #3 is hell-bent on ensuring that the boy is found guilty as he alludes that the case is simple enough for everyone to see the guilt of the boy. However, at the conclusion of the case it is evident that the juror is influenced by his emotional past as it is revealed that he has a bad relationship with his son. It is after accepting his faults that he can look at the case clearly and even vote not guilty at its conclusion. Juror number three is a perfect example of a member of a group who deems himself or herself the right one in every case. They do not seem to understand that their personal situations may be affecting their judgment. In the play, he functions to let others study the case more in order to find the truth.

Juror Number Four

This juror’s profession is stock broking and seems to be the only one who has taken a logical interest in the case. He serves as the sober mind in the group by advising them that the facts of the case should the only ones to advise their decisions rather than their emotions. From the case, he is adamant and principled, as he is not swayed by the opinions of others. He does not change his stand until the last moment when the testimony of the main witness is discredited. This action shows that he relies on facts rather than his disposition in the case. His role in the play is to show that reliance on facts always leads to justice (Rose, 1957).

Juror Number Five

He is the youngest among the twelve jurors and has reservations about expressing his opinion. His experiences in the slums help the jurors determine the truth about the case. Although he may seem unimportant because of his age and background, he ends up being the most important member of the group. Juror number five shows how every member of a group is important despite their appearance. He gives the whole group the opportunity to access the experiences that may have led to crime first hand hence enabling them to make a wise and just decision. He is one of the jurors that take his role in the determination of the case seriously.

Juror Number Six

He is a housepainter who is delighted at the continuation of the case because he does not have to work. The author portrayed him as dull-witted because of the way he carries out his activities. However, it is evident that he takes his time to make his decisions because he wants to appear meticulous. In essence, his character is painted as that of a painter who needs to work slowly and meticulously if they are to get excellent results. He is hard to impress and it takes time for him agree with the opinions of others. From his disposition, it appears that his role among the jurors is to slow down the process in order for the other jurors to think carefully rather than rush their decisions (Rose, 1957).

Juror Number Seven

His profession as a salesperson makes him make decisions fast without an analysis of the situation. However, he is easily angered, which makes the reader wonder how he is able to conduct his sales activities without any patience. It appears that he is not on the bench for the benefit of the bench, as it appears he would rather be involved in other activities rather than being a juror. An insightful look into the play shows that his opinions do not help the case because he just wants the whole case to end so that he can make it to a ball game. He plays the role of the people who do not see the importance of a group yet they are still in the group. It appears that his presence is a matter of convenience rather than service.

Juror Number Eight

From the onset, he appears as the protagonist in the play as he is the lone one who votes not guilty as the trial begins. He plays a big role in the group as he introduces the notion that the boy was not guilty and that the evidence should be examined in detail to identify the truth. In the end, the reader sees that his perception about the case was right because the boy is found innocent and the charges are dropped.

Juror Number Nine

He is the oldest in this party and becomes the defendant of eighth juror’s notions. His role among the juror’s is the provision of support for the apparent truth in the case. He is an example of a group member who regrets the fact that he would have done more with his time (Rose, 1957).

Juror Number Ten

He opposes everyone’s opinion making it seem that he only trust his opinions. From the set, it is evident he has no reverence for the value of human life. He is a racist from the way he refers to the defendant. He states, “He is one of them” to show that he is one in several colored people who commit such crimes. His role in the group is to make the others realize the gravity of the situation and make them make just decisions (Rose, 1957).

Juror Number Eleven

Although he seems subservient, the watchmaker loves the justice system in America and his will is justice to be served. He portrays an enthusiastic member of the group whose role is to change the attitudes of the other members towards their task (Rose, 1957).

Juror Number Twelve

He is a marketer and seems to prefer his job rather than being the juror for the case as he keeps on mentioning it. He is superficial, which makes it understand his role in the jury process. However, he represents the group members who are distracted by their supposed successes (Rose, 1957).

From the analysis of every character, it is evident that despite the strengths, weaknesses, and the difference in character, they were able to come to the right conclusion for the case by acquitting the boy. This is also important in any group as each member is important and that every member should influence others positively.

References

Rose, R. (Director). (1957). 12 angry men [Motion picture]. United States: United Artists.

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