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“Twelve Angry Men” by Reginald Rose Act 1 1. As the play begins, the JUDGE is charging the twelve jurors. What are his specific instructions to them? 2. Which juror is particularly anxious to reach a quick decision? Why is he in such a hurry? 3. What are the basic facts of the case, including the testimony of two witnesses, against the nineteen-year-old boy? 4. Which juror seems the least confident of his vote? (Refers to first vote) What are some of EIGHT’s reasons for not wanting to vote guilty right away? 5. Juror TWO thinks the defendant is guilty because “nobody proved otherwise.” In what way is his thinking in conflict with the legal system? 6. Why does juror NINE call juror TEN “dangerous”? 7. What do the jurors know about the defendant’s past behavior and police record? 8. Which jurors seem to show prejudice against the defendant? What are their prejudices about? 9. What personal experience made THREE say what he does regarding “kids”? 10. EIGHT believes that the court-appointed defense attorney did not thoroughly cross- examine witnesses for the prosecution. What are some reasons the attorney may have behaved this way? If Juror EIGHT is right, how does this affect the trial? 11. What was the defendant’s testimony about the switch-knife? How do FOUR and EIGHT differ in their interpretation of this testimony? 12. What proposition does EIGHT make to his fellow jurors at the end of Act 1? How do you think FOUR, THREE, FIVE, and NINE will vote on the second ballot? Cite specific passages from the play to account for your answer. Act 2 1. What does ELEVEN say about the United States?Is he right, in your opinion? Explain. What do you think he’s about to say about his “own country” before TEN cuts him off? 2. What evidence does EIGHT offer first to discredit the old man’s testimony? What is the connection between the train’s noise and the old man’s testimony? 3. What is the significance of TEN's comment that the defendant “don’t even speak good English”? How does this comment affect ELEVEN? FIVE? 4. How does EIGHT interpret the result of his “timed experiment”? 5. In Act Two, how does Juror THREE contradicts his earlier views? 6. At the end of Act II, Juror THREE shouts, “I’ll kill him!” What is the significance of this statement at this point in the play? 7. Suppose the defendant had a first-rate defense attorney. What points might that attorney have tried to bring out in cross examining each of these witnesses? a. the storekeeper who sold the knife b. the old man who lived downstairs c. the woman who lived across the street Act 3 1.The jurors vote for the third time. What is the result of the third vote? Which jurors have changed their votes?- Remember to put this on your vote sheet. 2. What information does Juror FIVE provide that shows a piece of evidence to be false? Is he qualified to speak as an expert? Why or why not? 3. Why does ELEVEN question SEVEN so closely? 4.What is the result of the fourth vote? 5. State in your own words the argument that Juror TEN makes for the guilt of the defendant in his monologue. How do the other jurors react to TEN’s statements of his true feelings? Explain what they do and why. 6. Why does FOUR feel that he still cannot vote for acquittal? 7. How does Juror SIX prove that the evidence provided by the woman is invalid? Juror FOUR changes his vote to “not guilty” after the evidence he believes is most damning is shown to be doubtful. What does this tell you about Juror FOUR? 8. As the play draws to its close, THREE stands alone in his conviction that the boy is guilty. Do you think THREE was unjustly pressured into agreeing with the majority? Explain.
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