Reginald Rose's Twelve Angry Men offers plenty of food for thought, as it explores many different themes. Three of the play's primary themes are human motivations, the difference between appearance and reality, and the courage to stand up for one's beliefs.
Let's look at the first of these themes: human motivations. Several of the jurors are operating out of personal motivations that are revealed throughout the play. The tenth juror, for instance, has major issues with racial prejudice and judges the accused solely because of his race. The third juror, who holds out to the end before changing his verdict, is bitter because of the conflict he has with his own son, and he takes his bitterness out on the accused. Even the witnesses are operating out of their own motivations. For example, the eighth juror thinks that the old man who testified is seeking attention.
Second, we notice from these motivations and from other elements of the play that appearance and reality are not the same thing....
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