Conflict Between Right and Wrong in Twelve Angry Men
Rose uses the jurors to show the conflict between right and wrong in ‘Twelve Angry Men’. Discuss. In the historical play ‘Twelve Angry Men’ the author Reginald Rose, shows how the jurors in the play highlight the right and wrongs and how hard it can be to overcome them, which leads to conflict. The twelve jurors had the job of convicting a criminal on the term of ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ according the evidence they were given in court. Juror 8 was the only juror that took this on board and based his decision on this term which was highlighted during the initial vote.
Juror 8 showed how his reason and logical approach demonstrated one of the few rights in the play. During the initial vote it was juror 8’s courage to rise above everyone and vote not guilty despite what the others would say to him that showed the reader that Rose used his character to demonstrate the right way to act.
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His good behaviour is shown from the first vote right through to the end of the play. “It’s just that we’re talking about somebody’s life here.
I mean, we can’t decide in five minutes” was his attitude at the first vote even though he did not believe he was guilty or not guilty he couldn’t leave that room without doing the job that he was in there to do which separated his characteristics from the other jurors. Rose deliberately made Juror 8 have these characteristics to show the conflict between being right and being wrong in this situation and also the importance of standing up. Personal feeling and personal prejudice were the main influences of Jurors 3 and Juror 10’s verdict towards the case.
This case triggered an emotional response within Juror 3 and this resulted in him acting in ways which were considered to be wrong. He became too involved and emotionally attached to the case and let his feeling block out the facts that were being presented to him. He relates this case to his son and they fact that he didn’t punish him so instead he would take his feelings about his son onto this case, which caused him to make claims like he was going to be the boys “executioner”.
Personal prejudice, hatred of people from a ‘slum’ background, was the cause of Juror 10 to become blinded by the facts and truth that was being discussed on the table in front of him. He based his opinion on what people had told him about people from a slum background and stating “they want to destroy us” to persuade the other jurors to side with him again as he could see them slipping away. Rose makes these two characters become blinded by their own feelings and prejudice to show the conflict that was caused between those who were right and wrong by them behaving the wrong way.
The conflict that the jurors’ caused between themselves by their behaviours of right and wrong made the final decision even more difficult to achieve. At the first vote all but one juror followed the rest of the group and their attitude to having to be on the jury and make a decision was negative. This is what started the conflict between many jurors. The fact that some jurors let their personal feeling get in the way of the facts of the case led to arguments between those who saw the facts and evidence and those who let their feelings blind them from the truth.
This conflict between the jurors is how Rose showed who was showing the right attitude and who was showing the wrong attitude during the play. There were many jurors who sat in silence throughout the discussions and based their verdicts on what other members of the jury decided upon, which is portrayed to be immoral by Rose. Their role as a jury was to discuss the case and decide a verdict based upon only the facts of the case.
Rose makes the jurors who just sit there and do not have an input into the discussion appear to be as bad as those who are prejudice and have personal feelings towards the case. “The others are silent” was the stage direction that showed the readers that the other jurors had no input into the conversation. The jurors who did not have an input were portrayed to be just as bad as those who let prejudice and personal feelings be the decided of their opinion. Twelve Angry Men’ shows how Rose uses the characters to show the conflict between right and wrong. Characters who let personal feelings and prejudice blind them from the truth were Roses demonstration as wrong in the play, where as Juror 8 show how his reason and logical approach lead him to be the demonstration of right. The jurors who didn’t have any input and just sat around the table silent, were also considered to be wrong because their role was to discuss the evidence and bring forward a unanimous verdict based upon their discussions.