Juror 8 Is the Only Juror Who Cares About the Boy on Trial. Discuss.

At first glance of Reginald Roses play Twelve Angry Men, it is easy to presume that juror 8 is the only juror who values the life of the defendant. Juror 8’s quote “it’s not easy for me to raise my hand and send a boy off to die without talking about it first” accompanied by the loudly voiced opinions of jurors 3,7 and 11 has the audience assuming that juror 8 is the only juror who understands the severity of the punishment. Though a closer look into the play reveals that other jurors such as juror 9 and 11 express their concern for the defendant’s life, whether it be subtly mentioned in a brief statement or aggressively referred to when questioning others. Juror 4 similarly to jurors 9 and 11 is also not as easily swayed by jurors 3,7 and 11, he assess the case purely based on facts, he is an example of a neutral ground, he spends time assessing the case but does not directly refer to the importance of the defendants life.
When initially viewing the play the audience is positioned by Rose to see juror 8 as the only juror who cares for and values the defendant’s life. This image is placed in the viewer’s mind due to Rose arming the characters who don’t value the defendant’s life with confident voiced opinions. We see throughout the play juror 3 and 10 aggressively share their thoughts on the defendants case with statements such as, “He’s got to burn, were letting him slip through our fingers” and “you know how these people lie, its born in them… they don’t know what the truth is… they don’t need any real reason to kill either… that’s the way they are by nature”. Although these comments and opinions come from biased, prejudice characters, Rose draws the spot light on them which takes the viewers’ attention away from the other jurors that do take into consideration that a boy’s life is at stake. Juror 9 is one of the first jurors after juror 8 to express his concerns on how the jurors deal with the defendant’s life.
Juror 9’s voice remains quiet through the play...