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What can be considered as a timeless passage from Twelve Angry Men?

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msmith211 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 1, 2011 at 10:41 AM via web

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What can be considered as a timeless passage from Twelve Angry Men?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 2) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 27, 2012 at 7:00 AM (Answer #1)

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Reginald Rose's play Twelve Angry Men portrays a microcosm of American society with jurors representing different social types that compose a democracy. Some of the men are liberal in their thinking; others are conservative, or even radical.  But, as Juror #8 finally convinces the men, they must be socially responsible and afford the defendant justice in their decision.  Oddly enough, it is Juror #11, a refugee from an oppressive government, who must remind the others of their civic duty and responsibility:

....We have a responsibility.  This is a remarkable thing about democracy.....That we are notified by mail to come down to this place and decide on the guilt or innocence of a man we have not known before.  We have nothing to gain or lose by our verdict.  This is one of the reasons why we are strong.  We should not make it a personal thing.

Juror #11's reminder to the men that they must not let their personal resentments or prejudices interfere with the verdict is a reminder of the social responsibility they have as jurors.  This responsibility has nothing to do with them; it is about the defendant and the evidence. It is about each man and woman's equal right to justice under the law.

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