Set in the summer of 1957, Reginald Rose’s play, Twelve Angry Men, highlights the importance of speaking out for what is right. Rose demonstrates through characterisation that prejudice and preconceptions can conceal the truth. From the inception, Rose presents a biased jury who is convinced of the boy’s guilt based on preconceived notions. However it is through Juror 8, that Rose advocates that justice and fairness can prevail over prejudice if just one virtuous person is willing to speak out. Juror 8 is depicted as the epitome of a fair and conscientious juror who is prepared to stand alone in order to ensure a fair verdict is delivered.
Although the other jurors initially lacked equity, they discover their inner voice through Juror 8 and are able to deliver a legitimate verdict. Twelve Angry Men demonstrates the weakness of the jury system. Do you agree? Reginald Rose’s play,Twelve Angry Men, highlights not only the fragility of the jury system, but also its strength. Rose presents to the audience that it is more by luck than legal support that the accused was acquitted, therefore implying that the jury system is flawed. Initially Rose presents a biased jury who is convinced of the boy’s guilt based on preconceived notions.
This emphasises a major flaw of the jury system, being that ‘prejudice can obscure the truth’. In addition, the jurors votes are also influenced heavily by their own personal backgrounds. This is evident in Juror 3 and 10 especially. However it is through Juror 8’s virtuous motives of finding a ‘reasonable doubt’ that ensured a just verdict was delivered. Juror 8 was the only person able to look past personal prejudices from the beginning, and through perseverance was able to guide other fellow jurors to ‘deliberate honestly and thoughtfully’. Thus, Rose shows the audience that the jury system is capable of securing justice.
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