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  • Reginald Rose
  • 1920-2002
  • The Play (written in 1954):
  • Social Context - McCarthyism
  • Joseph McCarthy
  • Ed. Murrow
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQQaX2h1plo
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIkU4MMQZ54&feature=related
  • The Play (written in 1954):
  • Social Context - McCarthyism
  • Joseph
  • McCarthy
  • Ed. Murrow
  • Arthur Miller
  • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAmccarthyism.htm
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McCarthyism
  • http://apus-b.wikispaces.com/post+war+domestic-political+cartoons
  • Reginald Rose
  • [about his inspiration for 12 Angry Men] It was such an impressive, solemn setting in a great big wood-panelled court-room, with a silver-haired judge. It knocked me out. I was overwhelmed. I was on a jury for a manslaughter case, and we got into this terrific, furious, eight-hour argument in the jury room. I was writing one-hour dramas for "Studio One" (1948) then and I thought, "Wow, what a setting for a drama!"
  • In Upstaging the Cold War: American dissent and cultural diplomacy, 1940-1960 (Andrew Justin Falk) Rose is acknowledged as an antagonist of McCarthyism. Referring to his writing in An Almanac of Liberty (1954) Rose reflects “Issues that bother me are issues concerning people who want to impose their beliefs on others ... In a way, almost everything I wrote in the fifties was about McCarthy.” (Falk, p. 164).
  • Title: 12 Angry Men (1954)
  • Author: Reginald Rose
  • Setting:
  • Physical The claustrophobia of a jury room
  • Atmospheric: A hot and steamy summer’s afternoon in New York.
  • Social setting – the McCarthy Era.
  • Time – Late in the day.
  • The question at the heart – the functioning of American democracy and justice.
  • Cultural: The West Coast of the United States (New York) in the mid 1950s.
  • Genre: Courtroom drama and a Socio-political Polemic or discourse.
  • The question at the heart:
  • the functioning of American democracy and justice.
  • The vehicle of exploration:
  • A jury-room drama
  • Structure:
  • A play in two Acts; (originally written in three.) Without scene breaks the movement of the play is shaped by the content – the resolution of the conflict in order to achieve a unanimous verdict. The progress is shaped by the changing of the jurors’ votes with the regular taking of votes to cement those shifts. It is the changing of opinion the forms the core of the narrative and shapes the movement of the play.
  • Obeys the Classical Unities (as described by Aristotle): Unity of Action only one central plot; Unity of Place; and Unity of Time – does not have significant shifts in chronology.
  • Structure cont ... :
  • The Impact of Rose’s use of Classical Unities – allows the audience to feel close to the characters, their challenges and conflicts.
  • Unity
  • Nature
  • Impact
  • Action
  • There is no action outside this small space. All else takes place off-stage.
  • There are no moments of relief or distraction (by scene changes) so the tension remains until it is resolved and the unanimous verdict achieved.
  • Place
  • The characters cannot leave the jury room until their job is done.
  • Steamy new York Summer’s day adds to the claustrophobia of the jury room.
  • In the same way the audience has no escape until from their reality until the action of the play concludes.
  • Time
  • Uses ‘real time’ with the passing of time on stage equal to the passing of time for the audience
  • Creates an intense focus on this small piece of the character’s lives.
  • Structure cont ... :
  • The progression of the play ... Act 1.
  • Part
  • Pages
  • Summary
  • Act 1: (Introduction)
  • (pp. 1-7) – ends when Foreman resumes his seat after the first vote
  • Judge reminds Jury of their task; guard brings in jury, informal vote by show of hands – vote is 11:1.
  • Central conflict: Jury must come to an unanimous decision – “reasonable doubt” must mean a vote for acquittal.
  • Act 1: Juror 8’s position
  • (pp. 7-15) – ends with the Guard going to retrieve the knife
  • Juror 8 defends his vote; the juror’s agree to one hour’s discussion, each to explain their reasons for their vote; 8th Juror requests knife.
  • Key ideas: respect of process and impartiality
  • Structure cont ... :
  • The progression of the play ... Act 1 ... Cont.
  • Part
  • Pages
  • Summary
  • Act 1: Second Vote
  • (pp. 15-19)
  • Guard delivers the ‘unusual knife’; 8th Juror introduces identical knife; juror’s argue over “possible” and “probable”; Juror 8 call for a secret ballot but without his participation. Vote is 10:2
  • A piece of circumstantial evidence is contested.
  • Act 1:
  • Third Vote
  • (pp.19-31)
  • Juror’s respond aggressively; 3 wrongly accuses 5 of weakness and changing his vote; knife returned to the guard; several jurors retreat to the wash room; 8 questions evidence and witness testimony, the calls for another vote. Vote 9:3
  • Key questions: testimony of elderly man; the competence of the defendant’s court appointed lawyer; defendant’s behaviour.
  • Structure cont ... :
  • The progression of the play ... Act 1 concluded.
  • Part
  • Pages
  • Summary
  • Act 1: first demonstration
  • (pp. 31-37)
  • Questions about the old man’s testimony continue; 8th juror requests the apartment floor plan; he reconstructs the scenario to test the witnesses testimony – frustration rises in the room; 8’s argument is supported. The end of the Act concludes with 8 provoking 3 to use the words “I’ll kill him”. 8 uses this to reinforce his earlier point.
  • Key Questions: Old man’s testimony (a key witness) cast into doubt; Circumstantial evidence of the boys use of “I’ll kill you” is undermined.
  • Structure cont ... :
  • The progression of the play ... Act 2.
  • Part
  • Pages
  • Summary
  • Act 2: Fourth Vote
  • (pp.38-40)
  • Evening arrives; storm approaches another vote is called. Vote is 6:6. The storm outside heralds what is yet to come in the jury room.
  • Act 2: Second demonstration
  • (pp. 40-7)
  • The storm breaks; 3rd juror defends his earlier outburst; juror’s arguments begin to get personal; 8 conducts another demonstration (with 4’s help) to support his argument for reasonable doubt; juror’s agree to spend one more hour in reasonable debate.
  • Key Question: whether or not to move for a hung jury? Circumstantial evidence of the nature of the Defendant’s recall at the time of arrest is found to be plausible – thus undermining one of Juror 4’s key points.
  • Structure cont ... :
  • The progression of the play ... Act 2 ... cont.
  • Part
  • Pages
  • Summary
  • Act 2: Third demonstration
  • (pp.47-50)
  • 2nd Juror questions the “evidence” about the direction of the stab wound; 3rd demonstrates the stabbing motion; 5th contradicts this (from his own knowledge); 7th decides to vote “not-guilty”.
  • Key issues: 3 and 10 feeling the tide shifting become more inflamed. This time flimsy evidence (in terms of relevance to the defendant’s guilt) is brought into question. Juror 11 challenges 7’s lack of civil-responsibility until 7 – changing for the wrong reasons.
  • (pp.51-4)
  • Show of hands 12th and Foreman change their vote to “not-guilty”. 10th juror’s xenophobia is in full flight – using aggression and fear in order to win his argument; another vote is called.
  • Key issue: xenophobia as a threat to justice.
  • Structure cont ... :
  • The progression of the play ... Act 2 concluded.
  • Part
  • Pages
  • Summary
  • Act 2: Sixth vote
  • (pp.54-8)
  • 12 Juror changes his mind back to guilty; agree to discuss “hung jury” if they can’t resolve the vote by 7pm; 9th juror observes that the second witness needs glasses and therefore her testimony is questionable; 12 juror changes his vote again and 10th juror shamed into changing his vote.
  • Key issues: 12th juror the only one to change his vote more than once; Key witness (woman) has testimony questioned and undermined.
  • Act 2: Verdict
  • (pp58 -9)
  • 4th juror changes his vote; 3rd makes a last stand then changes; Foreman informs the guard they have a verdict; the rain outside stops; the compassionate dénoument.
  • Key issue: Personal issues have no place in the pursuit of justice.
  • Style : Naturalism and Realism (or in T.V. It is called “slice of life”). Naturalist theatre is confronting striving to present real life in its grittiness, interpersonal conflicts and everyday detail without theatrical artifice. It is also realist in that the narrative is carried by concrete action on stage and is rarely supported by theatricality or symbolism.
  • Language: The patterns are in keeping with the style and are natural to the social milieu and geographical setting represented.
  • The Style of dialogue is concrete and the vernacular makes reference to the common aspects of their lives.
  • Legal terminology is used with familiarity.
  • Act I (and key quotes)
  • Introduction
  • Judge’s voice: You are faced with a grave responsibility. (p.6)
  • 8th Juror: It’s not easy for me to raise my hand and send a boy off to die without talking about it first. (p.12)
  • The Second Vote:
  • 4th Juror: Everyone has a breaking point (p.17)
  • 5th Juror: There is something personal! (p.18)
  • 8th Juror: People make mistakes (p.20)
  • 9th Juror: It’s only one night. A boy may die. (p.25)
  • Another Vote:
  • 3rd Juror: There are no secrets in a jury room (p.26)
  • 11th Juror: I have always thought that in this country a man was entitle to have unpopular opinions. (.27)
  • 9th Juror: It’s not easy to stand alone against the ridicule of others (p.28)
  • 8th Juror: He can’t hear you. He never will.
  • 11th Juror: Facts may be coloured by the personalities if the people who present them
  • Act I (and key quotes)
  • Third Vote:
  • 11th Juror: I don’t believe I have to be loyal to one side or another (p.39)
  • 8th Juror: Maybe all these things are so. But maybe they’re not (p.40)
  • 10th Juror: You’re making out like it don’t matter what people say. (p.40)
  • The Re-enactment:
  • 3rd Juror: He’s got to burn, We’re letting him slip through our fingers (p.47)
  • 8th Juror: You want to see this boy die because you personally want it, not because of the facts (p.47)
  • Act II (and key quotes)
  • Fourth Vote:
  • 11th Juror: We have nothing to gain or lose by our verdict. This is one of the reasons we are strong. We should not make it a personal thing (p.50)
  • 3rd Juror: Let’s see who stands where (p.50)
  • 3rd Juror: You took an oath in the courtroom (p.54)
  • 7th Juror: I’m tellin’ ya they’re all alike. He comes over to this country running for his life and before he can even take a big breath he’s telling us how to run the show. (p.55)
  • Fifth Vote:
  • 11th Juror: In discussing such a thing as the murder potential w should remember that many of us are capable of murder. But few of us do. We impose controls on ourselves to prevent it (p.59)
  • 7th Juror: All this yakkin’s gettin’ us nowhere... (p.62)
  • 11th Juror: You have no right to play like this with a man’s life. This is a terrible and ugly thing to do. (p.63)
  • Act II (and key quotes)
  • Unanimous Vote:
  • 10th Juror: They are different. They think different. They act different. (p.64)
  • 8th Juror: ... Prejudice obscures the truth (p.66)
  • 8th Juror: But we have a reasonable doubt, and this is a safeguard that has enormous value in our system. (p.66)
  • 3rd Juror: I don’t care whether I’m alone or not. It’s my right (p.71)
  • Characterisation:
  • internal and external
  • Primary Characters
  • Secondary Characters
  • Remaining Characters
  • Characterisation:
  • Primary Characters
  • The Vengeful Bully
  • The Bigot
  • The man of Integrity
  • Characterisation:
  • Juror 5
  • Attacked by Juror 3
  • Supported by 9
  • Experiences the prejudice
  • of juror 10
  • Given
  • Opportunity
  • by 8
  • (feelings) Dismissed by 1
  • Characterisation:
  • Juror 10
  • 9
  • 10
  • 1
  • 6
  • 4
  • 2
  • 11
  • Characterisation:
  • Character Binaries
  • 9
  • 10
  • 8
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 11
  • 7
  • These binaries give a good summary of the key conflicts within the play
  • Characterisation:
  • Alignments
  • Lawful Good
  • Neutral Good
  • Chaotic Good
  • Lawful Neutral
  • True Neutral
  • Chaotic Neutral
  • Lawful Evil
  • Neutral Evil
  • Chaotic Evil
  • You oughta have more respect, Mister. You say stuff like that again and I’m gonna’ lay you out.
  • I’m not trying to change your mind, it’s just that we are talking about someone’s life here.
  • I don’t believe I have to be loyal to one side or another, I’m simply asking questions.
  • You can’t send someone off to die on evidence like that.
  • “... It’s not easy to stand alone against the ridicule of others. He gambled for support and I gave it to him.
  • Hey, you just take of yourself, you know.
  • I don’t care whether I’m alone or not, it’s my right.
  • You know how these people lie, it’s born in them.
  • Characterisation:
  • Character quotes:
  • 6. You oughta have more respect, Mister. You say stuff like that again and I’m gonna’ lay you out.
  • 8. I’m not trying to change your mind, it’s just that we are talking about someone’s life here.
  • 11. I don’t believe I have to be loyal to one side or another, I’m simply asking questions.
  • 2. You can’t send someone off to die on evidence like that.
  • 9. .. It’s not easy to stand alone against the ridicule of others. He gambled for support and I gave it to him.
  • 7. Hey, you just take care of yourself, you know.
  • 3. I don’t care whether I’m alone or not, it’s my right.
  • 4. Frankly, I don’t see how you can move for acquittal.
  • 10 .You know how these people lie, it’s born in them.
  • 5.I used to play in a backyard that was filled with garbage. Maybe it still smells on me.
  • 1. Please, please ...
  • Characterisation:
  • Character role-traits:
  • Timid,
  • Cowered
  • Ineffectual in
  • Leadership
  • Intimidating,
  • Hurt Bully,
  • vengeful
  • Dispassionate
  • / Rational
  • Disempowered,
  • Knowing
  • Unqualified,
  • Decent
  • Hedonistic,
  • Sports fan
  • Integrity,
  • Empathy
  • Prejudiced,
  • Bigot
  • Enlightened,
  • Keeper of Values
  • Hollow,
  • Vacillating
  • Bypassed
  • Wisdom
  • Juror no. 1 (Foreman)
  • The Ineffectual
  • Leader
  • Description: A small, petty man who is impressed with the authority he has and handles himself quite formally. Not overly bright, but dogged. He attempts to “cut and run” when things get difficult.
  • Social Commentary: Ineffectual leadership (laissez faire and conflict avoidant) leaves the space for the potential for injustice.
  • Key Script: Cut and run when it get’s too hard.
  • Juror no. 2
  • The Intimidated Man
  • Description: A meek, hesitant man. Although he is aware he is easily intimidated and finds it difficult to maintain any opinions of his own. Needs the courage of others if he is to stand up.
  • Key Script: Avoid getting hurt; “go along to get along”.
  • Juror no. 3
  • The Intimidating Man
  • (Hurt Bully)
  • Description: A very strong, very forceful, extremely opinionated man within whom can be detected a streak of sadism. He is a humourless man (in this context) who is intolerant of opinions other than his own and accustomed to forcing his wishes and views upon others. A Bully.
  • Social Commentary: a) Intimidation is a valid process for getting what you want; b) When everything is personal justice is denied.
  • Key Script: Shout to be heard and to get your own way.
  • Juror no. 4
  • The Rational Man
  • Description: Seems to be a man of wealth and position (Stockbroker). He is a practiced speaker who presents himself well at all times. He seems to feel a little bit above the rest of the jurors. His only concern is with the facts in this case, and he is appalled at the behaviour of the others.
  • Key Script: Head over heart ... That’s the way to do life.
  • Juror no. 5
  • The Disempowered
  • Man
  • Description: A disempowered, very frightened young man who takes his obligations in this case very seriously; but, who finds it difficult to speak up when those with authority have the floor. He comes from the same disadvantaged background as the defendant.
  • Social Commentary: The voiceless and disempowered are at the mercy of others but are unlikely to get it. Yet they have a legitimate voice and need to be heard.
  • Key Script: No one listens to me so why say anything.
  • Juror no. 6
  • The “Unqualified” Man
  • Description: An everyday honest working man but somewhat dull-witted. He comes to his decisions slowly and often guided by others. A man who finds it difficult to create positive opinions, and therefore listens to, digests and accepts those opinions offered by others which appeal to him most; especially, those who have authority over him. However, he is a moral man and can stand up for those being treated badly.
  • Social Commentary: a) That fear-based decision-making has negative ramifications; b) Those that leave critical thinking to others are part of
  • the problem – they fail the democratic process and the pursuit of justice.
  • Key Script: I’m not qualified – leave it to others who are better at it.
  • Juror no. 7
  • The Hedonistic Man
  • Description: A loud, brash salesman type who has more important things to do than to sit on a jury. He is quick to show temper, quick to form opinions on things about which he knows nothing. Is a bully and, of course, a coward. He is also about his own pleasures and convenience; moral virtue does not take precedence.
  • Social Commentary: Those that place self-interest above their responsibility and civic duty are given to expediency and cannot be relied on for justice.
  • Key Script: Don’t inconvenience me; my pleasure/convenience comes first.
  • Description: A quiet, thoughtful, gentle man. A man who sees all sides of every question and constantly seeks the truth. A man of strength tempered with compassion. Above all, he is a man who wants justice to be done and will strive to see that it is. Takes responsibility!
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