Topic: Essays

Last updated: January 26, 2019

The play, Twelve Angry Men written by American playwright Reginald Rose is set in 1950’s, which focuses on 12 men trying to deliberate a unanimous agreement of guilty or not guilty of justice of a teen murdering his father.

When reading this play you focus on what the men are trying to deliberate but what you don’t know is that Rose also uses the play to help convey to the readers what the flawed nature of the justice system is. Rose has accomplished this by using Characterisation of Jurors, Setting and prejudice. This is how it is done.The characterisation used in this play is very creative and impressive to help the reader discover the flawed nature of the justice system. If you notice when you read the play you don’t see what the jurors name are they are just numbers and descriptions at the start of the book.

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He does this because it isn’t important on what the jurors names are, it is important on what their personalities and backgrounds are, and the easiest way to do that is by numbers of jurors. For example we know that Juror 8 is a quiet, thoughtful, gentle man who wants justice to be served right and will fight to see what that maybe. Whereas Juror 3 is a very strong, forceful, extremely opinionated man, who is a humourless and is intolerant of opinions other than his own. He does this because of his past experience of teenagers behaviour towards him.

These personality descriptions can be easily picked up by the reader because of Rose’s choice of characterisation. This is why characterisation helps the flawed nature of the justice system.The play is set in the 1950’s in one room: the jury room, and all the action takes place in that one room and this helps the reader understand the nature of the justice system.

It relates to the justice system because Reginald has to use the exact same regulations that would happen in a 50’s jury system and what a typical jury duty would be like in the 50’s because he has served jury duty himself at that time. Additionally, the jury duty would also consist of the guard locking the door, no women on jury, only the white race was allowed on the jury and the jury is made up of the accused peers which is all part of the justice system. Therefore, readers can have a better understanding of the system because Reginald includes these regulations in the book. This is why the setting is a great explanation used in the script to understand the flawed nature of the justice system.


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