12 Angry Men Essay: Vce English

Through his play 'Twelve Angry Men,' Reginald Rose explores the numerous factors which lead individuals to the feelings and responses they experience. The jurors provide the audience with a representation of the ways in which people in general can think and act as a result of their subjective experiences. Surrounding elements such as social context, the media and the importance one places on logic and rationale also mould the way we perceive things. As such, Rose intends for the audience to reflect on their own prejudices and biases, through the identification of these ugly, and perhaps parallel qualities identifiable in some of the jurors.
Over the course of the play, Rose presents the audience with a table of characters, almost all of whom change their initial, an almost instinctive vote. Many of these transformations in thought are the result of a revelation based upon, or influenced in some way by, their own memories and experiences. The ninth juror, an elderly, overlooked man is softened by the eyewitness, who mirrors the meek, forgotten about traits identified in himself. He claims to 'know him better than anyone' else in the room, and his loneliness is clearly identified and provides a reason to distrust the eyewitness. An almost inevitable need to apply one's own experiences to   a situation before them is presented by Rose, as throughout the play, the jurors almost unanimously reveal their emotions and reactions as being the result of, or shaped in some way by, their own familiarities and experiences. Rose is not condemning, or even necessarily critical of what he exposes as being a natural human tendency. He examines the necessity and place of subjective experience, and accepts and affirms it's role within everyday life.
Quantitative logic and rationale are also revealed as being highly important to certain kinds of people, yet also key factors in other's decision making. The fourth juror's absolute focus on facts is gently critiqued by Rose, and...