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"Twelve Angry Men"
Twelve Angry Men
Justin Rech
"After reading Twelve Angry Men we feel confident in the American legal system." Do you agree with this statement? In your response discuss how the playwright positions us to think about the jury system.

Reginald Rose's cynical examination of the legal system in Twelve Angry Men by no means leaves the audience with any feelings of confidence in its procedures. Regardless of whether each member of the educated audience (such as befits the medium) has his/her's own opinions of the judicial system of democratic countries, the playwright moulds a seemingly uncomplicated situation through the dramatic elements of dialogue and language, set and character to entice a response shattering any preconceived faith in the judgement of right and wrong.

Rose's use of setting serves a dual purpose of practicality and symbolism in developing his theme of the ambiguity inherent in America's legal system. The static environment of a jury room simplifies the presentation of the material but most importantly limits the focus of the play to the characters and their relationship to the assumptions we have in achieving justice. Not only are assumptions questioned but also our values. The "drab, bare room" with few comforts (only old props), to the jurors even during hot days reveals how little value is placed in the role and power of the juror. This in itself decreases the value of the legal system. The power of the system, symbolises by the jury room, is subject to human value.

All the power of the judicial system culminates in the hands of twelve ordinary people, who we can only trust to be fair and serious. It is through the dialogue and language that the composer attempts to evoke a negative response. The fast paced conversational language of the jurors, interspersed with light banter, highlights naiveté of the jurors. Rose then...

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"Twelve Angry Men." Aug 20, 2018
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essay on Twelve Angry Men
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