When checking out the play “12 angry men”, is it tough to neglect the prominent character- ‘the 8th Juror’. As the plot unfolds, the reader notices that Juror # 8 is the just one amongst the 12 who truly comprehends the seriousness of the situation at their hands.
At the very beginning of the play, you can see that there is no compassion towards the kid implicated of murder. And why should it be? All the proof that was brought up in the court space has crushed the defense and the boy’s chances on the trial.
The prosecution made it clear that the kid is guilty. In fact, too clear- The defense was defenseless and left many holes in their case.
That’s why in the preliminary vote done by the jurors, everybody votes “guilty” (against the kid) other than for # 8. And here we see the very first importance of # 8: because of his reasonable doubt the jury had not discovered the boy guilty at the very first 10 minutes of their debating, which would have ended the trial.
# 8 did not necessarily believe the boy was innocent, however he comprehended that if he raised his hand at that vote- it would all end. They will not have a possibility to talk about the case, and it will, in his eyes, belittle the value of human life.
In addition, we can see that # 8 is a key character in lots of other parts of the play. After beginning to talk about the case, a few of the other jurors got mad and tried to encourage # 8 to vote “guilty” and end the discussion. Yet, he remained calm and tried to continue disputing in spite of their efforts to “convert” him. After realizing that he is standing alone against them, he required another vote, in which he will not take part (a rather doubtful action, considering he had not yet spoke out the contradictions that he had actually discovered in the prosecution’s case). This was a rather strong step, however it paid out due to the fact that of # 9, who altered his vote to “innocent” due to the fact that of his respect towards # 8 and # 8’s guts. We see that in spite of the efforts the 11 jurors made, # 8 stuck to his position and allowed the extension of the play.
At page 26 we see another contribution to the unfolding of the case- Juror # 8 raises the question whether the old guy (who had actually testified about hearing the accused kid yelling “I’m going to eliminate you”) might truly hear what he had actually clamed he heard. # 8 makes the fantastic connection between two pieces of separate testimonies and shows (as much as it can be shown) that it was not possible for the old guy to hear that. One by one he shattered the so-called realities, as he proved that “Sometimes the facts that are looking you in the face are incorrect”. He develops the issue with the 15-seconds walk the old guy obviously took, the eyeglasses marks next to the affirming woman’s eyes and a lot more.
You can say that juror # 8 has an additional value to the play, in the regards to his character and personality. He reveals a side that the jurors might not see- he tried to put himself in the young boy’s shoes and see the case from a different point of view. By doing that, he showed the other jurors how bias can avoid people from seeing the truth (or in their case- judge in a fare manner). You can honestly state that if it were not for him, the boy would have been put to death for sure.
He might just be a designer, however he provided his arguments like a lawyer and proved his theories throughout the play. He prevented being personally involved and let his sharp and lucid mind lead him and the rest of the jury on their method to resolve the case.