In the play, “Twelve Angry Men” is a courtroom drama. Purposely, it is a smash course in those channels of the Constitution that assures defendants a free and fair hearing and assumption of innocence. It has a kind of plain simplicity and apart from a brief setup the entire film takes place on a hot day at a small jury room in New York City as the 12 men discuss the fate of a young suspect charged with murder of his father.
The film not clear to us about the trial itself except for the perfunctory of the judge, nearly bored, charge to the jury. The tonal voice shows the verdict is a forgone conclusion. We hear neither defense attorney nor public prosecutor, and hears the evidence only second-hand as the jurors debate it. Majority of courtroom movies sense it necessary end with a clear verdict. Even though the “12 Angry Men” never states whether the suspect is guilty or innocent. It is all about whether the jury has a reasonable doubt about his guilt.
Use of Persuasive Argument and Techniques in the play The movie “12 Angry Men” observes the dynamics of the play in a U.S jury room in the 1950’s. It turn around the mindsets and opinions of twelve different characters that are tasked with uttering the innocence or guilt of a young man accused of murder. The surprising element is that their result will determine his death or life. This play was changed into a movie in 1957, produced by Henry Fonda who played the main role, Juror number eight and Reginald Rose who wrote the original novel. This essay explores some of critical thinking elements found within the background of this movie, and can show the rational reason and logic when effectively used can overcome the ineffective rush to judgement that can be predominant in a case.
There are several persuasive techniques used in the play; Logos- is an appeal based on logic or reason. In the play logos is used juror number eleven was convincing the other jurors that the aged man might not have moved as quickly as it was to be shown because of the formerly agonized stroke. He says, “I would like to figure out if there is an aged man who drags one foot when he walks, because he had a stroke last year, could get from his bedroom to his front door in fifteen minutes.” It was reasonable argument of how the aged man might not have dragged himself so quickly to see the guy run out of his home. He also convinces the jury of how the lady across the street might not be able to see the boy through the train without her glasses on.
He elaborates, “It is reasonable to assume that she was not wearing them when she was in the bed. Turning and tossing, attempting to fall asleep.” Juror also continues by saying, I don’t know, I am guessing that she probably did not put her spectacles on when she turned on to look informally out of the window. And, she testified that the murder took place just as she observed out. He also predicted maybe she honestly assumed she saw the lad who killed his father- I say she only saw haze. All this was logical reasoning by juror number eight.
Ethos-is an appeal based on character and reputation of the speaker. It is used where juror number eight, makes the other jurors to think creatively and critically by regularly asking “Is it possible? “And “Suppose that”. He also uses ethos when he was attempting to convince juror number ten that the boy’s father might not have heard the boy saying to the aged man, “I am going to murder you”. He also says, “There’s something else I would like to discuss for a minute. I have already shown that the aged man could not have heard the boy say, “I am going to murder you”, but supposing.” he was attempting to convince them when you utter something, it does not mean you are going to do that exactly.
Pathos- Is clearly demonstrated in the film where juror number ten says, “he is a common ignorant slob, he even doesn’t speak fluent English.” Juror number eleven replies to him, He doesn’t speak English…” this is irony in the arguments presented by juror number ten. Juror number ten also illustrates pathos where he is trying to convince the jury that slum dwellers are bad people in general when he claims, “They get drunk. Oh, they are big drinkers, that’s the way they are!” this indicates what this juror had against slum dwellers.
The aged man gave proof that he heard the lad say, “I will kill you” from his room below and that he saw the lad running down the stairs from the apartment after rising from his bedroom. The old woman saw the boy kill his father through her window while the train was passing. Juror number eight analyzed each of these points and makes credible opinions that the conclusion is faulty based on incorrect reasoning, by figuring out discrepancies in the conclusions reached .The rest of jurors are satisfied to believe that their reasoning is solid, as they used instances of deductive reasoning to reach their conclusion. Juror number three gives his valid reasons for reaching the conclusion that, “it is clear that lad never went to the movies that night, returned home and murdered his father with the knife as stated by Court”. Until juror number eight takes out a similar knife and asks a question that it was possible another knife was used, juror number seven calls it a million in one even though juror number eight insisted that it was possible.
Finally, the executive was the self-centered “on the fence” member of the group. He could not seem to make up his mind but at the end of the play he changed his vote many times. When it came to real consensus, I believe the jury came to true agreement. At first I never thought certain jurors changed their minds, total satisfaction could not have been achieved. After some reflections, I found few innocent jurors were satisfied. At the last shot of the jury’s room I believe that the angry father was emotional because the debate was very personal to him and he finally accepted the results, even though he lost.