The play “Twelve Angry Men,” written by Reginald Rose, efficiently uses monologues to enhance and reflect each character’s qualities. Throughout the narrative, they demonstrate the gradual shift of the jurors’ opinions who initially consider the teenager guilty of committing the first-degree murder (“Twelve Angry Men”). In the beginning, the scene depicting the participants’ conversations in the trial convinces the viewer in their seeming unanimity on the matter. However, the monologue of juror eight, who votes not guilty, disrupts the decision-making process. His claim of the need for a thorough discussion represents him as a meticulous person capable of affecting others (“Twelve Angry Men”). The consequent review of the case provided by juror three adds to the impression of thoroughness attributed to these people’s actions and character.
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The suspicion of jurors as the central element of the plot contributes to their perception as individuals whose dialogues are intended to reveal the truth at the expense of their relationships. By the climax, they are willing to accuse one another of changing votes without considering the conflict’s outcome (“Twelve Angry Men”). Thus, jurors five and nine explain it by sympathy and the desire to be objective, and these two extremes show the former’s humanity and the latter’s impartiality. Juror eleven joins them, thereby revealing his democratic views, and juror twelve’s distraction in his expressions makes him indifferent. Jurors one, two, and four in their monologues value organization and equal participation of all people, demonstrating their desire to cooperate. In turn, jurors six and seven think only about themselves as they only care about their leisure. As for juror ten, he continuously attacks others and does not want to listen to them, what makes him the most violent person. Thus, the dynamics of the drama are illustrated through monologues depicting the characters and their motivations.
Twelve Angry Men. Written by Reginald Rose, directed by Sidney Lumet, CBS Studio One, 1954.