The Importance of the 8th Juror throughout the Play "12 Angry Men" by Reginald Rose.

Essay by QuilathHigh School, 11th gradeA+, March 2006

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When reading the play "12 angry men", is it hard to ignore the prominent character- 'the 8th Juror'. As the plot unfolds, the reader notices that Juror #8 is the only one among the 12 who really understands the seriousness of the situation at their hands.

At the very beginning of the play, you can see that there is no sympathy towards the boy accused of murder. And why should it be? All the evidence that was brought up in the court room has crushed the defense and the boy's chances on the trial. The prosecution made it clear that the boy is guilty. In fact, too clear- The defense was helpless and left many holes in their case.

That's why in the initial vote done by the jurors, everybody votes "guilty" (against the boy) except for #8. And here we see the first importance of #8: because of his reasonable doubt the jury hadn't found the boy guilty at the first 10 minutes of their debating, which would have ended the trial.

#8 did not necessarily believe the boy was innocent, but he understood that if he raised his hand at that vote- it would all end. They will not have a chance to discuss the case, and it will, in his eyes, belittle the value of human life.

Furthermore, we can see that #8 is a key character in many other parts of the play. After starting to talk about the case, some of the other jurors got mad and tried to convince #8 to vote "guilty" and end the discussion. Yet, he stayed calm and tried to continue debating in spite of their efforts to "convert" him. After realizing that he is standing alone against them, he called for another vote, in which he will not...