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12 Angry Men Essay

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Home : 12 Angry Men : Study Guide : Quotes and Analysis

12 Angry Men Quotes

by Reginald Rose
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Quotes and Analysis
1. JUDGE'S VOICE: ...and that concludes the court's explanation of the legal aspects of this case. And now, gentlemen of the jury, I come to my final instruction to you. Murder in the first degree - premeditated homicide - is the most serious charge tried in ...view middle of the document...

It is also to be considered the way that Rose chooses to introduce this monologue. There is not a prequel scene where the men are addressed by the Judge, nor are the men on stage when the Judge's offstage monologue is said. Rather, it is to an empty stage, giving the effect that the monologue is not as much for the Jurors as it is for the audience themselves. It introduces a secondary dialogue in the play, in which the audience plays juror for the accused and for the Jurors on stage.

2. 12TH JUROR: (to 8th Juror) What d'you think of the case? It had a lot of interest for me. No dead spots - know what I mean? I'll tell you we were lucky to get a murder case. I figured us for a burglary or an assault or something. Those can be the dullest.


This quote perfectly shows everything that Reginald Rose thinks is wrong with the American public and the justice system. Here we have someone who is about to make a decision that will either save a boy's life or kill him, and he's happy that it's a murder case, where a man died, because it's exciting for him. It shows a complete lack of concern, which concern 8th Juror will slowly come to impress upon the other jurors. It makes the whole event sound more like a Roman circus than an American court of law.

3. 8TH JUROR: ...Look, this boy's been kicked around all his life. You know - living in a slum, his mother dead since he was nine. He spent a year and a half in an orphanage while his father served a jail term for forgery. That's not a very good head start. He had a pretty terrible sixteen years. I think maybe we owe him a few words. That's all.


In contrast to the previous monologue, this displays why 8th Juror is repeatedly characterized as the passionate, responsible model of an American citizen. He is not unreasonably confident that the boy is innocent. He admits that he is not sure, but he feels that it is the boy's right that they at least give him a fair shot. He recognizes that this boy has had hard times, and he sticks up for him. Rose represents this moment as one good American standing up for the weaker man.

4. 3RD JUROR: Yeah, well I've got (a kid). He's twenty. We did everything for that boy, and what happened? When he was nine he ran away from a fight. I saw him. I was so ashamed I almost threw up. So I told him right out. "I'm gonna make a man outa your or I'm gonna bust you in half trying." Well, I made a man outa him all right. When he was sixteen we had a battle. He hit me in the face. He's big, y'know. I haven't seen him in two years. Rotten kid. You work your heart out...[He breaks off. He has said more than he intended. He is embarrassed.] All right. Let's get on with it.


Here, Rose gives us a glimpse into the irrationalities and prejudices that can play into any given member of a jury. Here, 3rd Juror reveals that he has a troubled relationship with his son, which resulted in his being in a...

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