The BasicsRead the play more thanonceAn understanding of eachof the jurors and the‘journey’ they undergoWhat sorts of prejudice doeach of the jurors bring?What sort of justice do thejurors believe in?
What are the examinerssaying?High-scoring responses did not rely entirely on themost obvious scenes from the texts.Students’ ability to understand, acknowledge andexplore the genre of their selected text continues toimproveStudents should be encouraged to have conﬁdencein their own reading and demonstrate a personalunderstanding of their text rather than relyingexclusively on commercially produced material
The CharactersThe characters are nameless and at ﬁrst can bedifﬁcult to distinguish, except for a few of them,they are...
The 8th JurorIs the ﬁrst character to vote ‘notguilty’Does not necessarily believe thatthe boy is innocent, but believesthat they ‘can’t decide in ﬁveminutes’Is separated from the rest of thecharacters at the beginning by thestage directions which have himgazing out of the window and notresponding to questions
Of all the characters, we learn the least about the 8thjurors background, although there is the rather curiousstory about him wandering the neighbourhood of themurder and buying a switchblade similar to the murderweapon, which may suggest that he is familiar with theareaHe only ever asserts that he is trying to do what is‘supposed to be happening in a jury room’, and evensuggests that he will change his vote if all of the otherjurors maintain their ‘guilty’ vote during the secondcount
The 3rdJurorThis is the juror we alllove to hate. Hisargument rests upon hisown prejudice and lifeexperience
The 3rd juror is a self-made man, who believes in roughjusticeHe is the last juror to change his mindHis relationship with his estranged son determines hisprejudice and attitude to the case, although he is theﬁrst to declare ‘I have no personal feelings about this’Unlike many of the other jurors, he uses deﬁnite wordslike ‘I know’, ‘You can’t refute facts’ and ‘You’reabsolutely right’
The 4thJurorThis juror is in many waysthe foil for the 8th juror -he is the logical side forthe prosecution
The 4th juror describes himself as a broker, and hisarguments are punctuated by numbers, that lend himmore logic and reason than the observations the otherjurors offerHe lacks the imagination to put himself in the positionof the accused, distancing himself from the ‘ﬁlthyneighbourhood’ that is a ‘breeding ground for criminals’
In many ways, the 4th juror is blinded by his own logic -he cannot imagine that his careful ordering of the worldis wrongWhen the 8th juror demonstrates that he doesn’t knowall the pertinent details about the ﬁlms he has recentlyseen, it doesn’t change his mindOnly by comparing himself to the spectacle-wearingwitness, does the 4th juror ﬁnally (2nd to last) changehis vote
The 10thJurorThis juror is one ofthe loudestopponents of theinnocence of the boy
The 10th juror is loudest in his opposition to ‘those’peopleUnlike many of the other jurors he is not interested inseeing justice done - he thinks the boy is guilty, butwhen opinion swings the other way, tries to convincethe 4th and 3rd jurors to ‘just quit’ because he doesn’twant to ‘break [his] brains over scum like that’He is prejudiced against the boy he describes as a‘common ignorant slob’ but derides the logic andintelligence of others - ‘everyone’s a lawyer’
The 7thJurorA baseball fan, this jurortries to expedite thewhole process so thathe can watch a game
The 7th juror represents Rose’s understanding that notall citizens will give justice its due considerationHe tries to play cards, noughts and crosses (tic, tac,toe)Finally votes not guilty because ‘all this yakkin’s gettingus nowhere’
The 9thJurorThis is the ageingjuror and he bringsinsights into some ofthe witnesses
The 9th juror is ﬁrst introduced as the juror in thelavatory, the Foreman has to ask him to hurry up, whichgives us an insight into others’ perception of ageingThis juror most strongly identiﬁes with the witness who‘saw’ the boy ﬂeeing the sceneHe is the ﬁrst juror to change his vote, recognising theimportance of the boy’s life and the relativeunimportance of spending more time in the jury room -‘it’s only one night. A boy may die’He is disgusted by the 10th juror
TheForemanThe foreman is areluctant leader whotries very hard tomaintain impartiality
The foreman tries to make the dialogue within the juryroom proceed in an orderly fashion, asking the jurors to‘go in order here’ and to ‘keep it peaceful’He is challenged by both the 10th and the 12th juror,but tries to be fair to all jurors, even though he thinksthe boy is ‘guilty’He facilitates all enquiries by asking the guard toretrieve various pieces of evidenceHe changes his vote after the switchblade discussion inan ‘almost embarrassed’ manner
The 11thJurorThis is the juror with theGerman accent - awatch-maker whobelieves in the justiceprocess
In Act 1, the 11th juror has little to say, raising small points ofevidence - such as the witness, the time and the knifeTowards the end of this act (a short time after he tells us of hisprofession) he corrects the grammar of the 10th juror andbegins to ask some serious questions about the case, saying‘I don’t believe I have to be loyal to one side or the other’,ﬁnally concluding he has ‘reasonable doubt’He defends the 8th juror even when he believes the boy isguilty, upholding the principles of democracy
The 12thJurorThe ad man who isthe only juror tochange his vote twice
Like the 7th juror, the 12th is seemingly disengagedfrom the case at the beginning, doodling on his paper,although he claims it helps him ‘think more clearly’He is the juror that asks them each to take a turn, butseems uncertain, ‘it’s just a quick thought’, ‘I...No! Idon’t think so.’He says, ‘This is a pretty complicated business’ andseems to epitomise the difﬁculty facing the 12 men
The 6thJurorThe ‘workingman’ (house painter)with an intuitive senseof justice
Begins by thinking that the case is ‘pretty obvious. Imean, I was convinced from the ﬁrst day’Articulates the concern that the jurors release the boyand ‘the kid really did knife his father’, highlightingagain the difﬁculty of the situationRaises the question of motiveHas only two lines (apart from voting) in Act 2
The 2ndJurorMildly spoken, ﬁrstquestions the‘evidence’ of the knife
The 2nd juror has little speciﬁc to say about the caseother than ‘I don’t know, it was pretty interesting’He does not even defend his guilty response when theforeman goes around the table, saying, ‘It’s hard to putinto words’He offers cough drops all round, but in Act 2 when the10th juror asks for a cough drop responds, ‘They’re allgone, my friend’Changes his vote in the beginning of Act 2
The 5thJurorThe juror from theslums who mostsympathises with thedefendent.
Although we know from early on that the 5th juror has‘lived in a slum all [his] life’ and has nursed ‘that trash inHarlem Hospital’, he starts by thinking the boy is guilty.When asked to defend his position he says he will‘pass on it’Is accused by the 3rd juror of changing his vote(because of the revelations of his background); laterchanges his vote in Act 1Gives crucial evidence about knife ﬁghting
So why does Rosechoose these type ofcharacters?
So what kinds of justice do each of the jurorsrepresent?