12 Angry Men Character Analysis

Character No. 1: The host, who presides over the meeting. He stands for a more rational category of people, with whom, a situation could be better controlled so that the discussions could proceed in an orderly manner. And he was not one of the few who unilaterally thought the boy was "not guilty" from the beginning, but waited long enough for the jury to prove that the boy was not guilty.


Character No. 2: Baby voice, who joins the jury for the first time. For the first time, he has the power to vote on a person's life or death. He is full of curiosity about everything and is very willing to listen to other people's opinions. He is a bit like a young man who has not been deeply involved in the world yet. He is naive and inquisitive about everything; but he also has his own principles. For example, when others ridicule the case, he instinctively thinks it is wrong to do so. 


Character No. 3: Violent man, who stands for such a class of people who think that in such an obvious murder case, there should be no lawyer to defend them. Both human testimony and material evidence are there, why should they have a lawyer to justify them? They think such scums should be killed as soon as possible. But they have a point overlooked, that is, what if the defendant is not a real criminal? Could the human testimony and material evidence really prove that the defendant committed a crime and killed someone? What if the witness is perjury or uncertain? What if the material evidence is fake or coincidental? Suppose you are in the situation, if everyone accuses it is you who committed a crime, and you know clearly that you are not, how desperate it would be. Therefore, it is necessary to have a lawyer, the lawyer should not only consider the defendant "committed a crime", but also to consider whether he "did not commit a crime"; if he committed a crime, he should strive to reduce his punishment. Because the right of the defendant, is the same as that of everyone. And there is a reason why Character No. 3 formed such a concept. The badly behaved boy reminded him of his son. His son ran away from home after a fight with him, and now he's supposed to look like a scoundrel. He hates the existence of such people, and he thought it was necessary for these bastards to suffer before they could change their minds. But in the end, when he realized that doing so would actually destroy an 18-year-old, he reflexively thought that his son might also have his life deprived. He immediately murmured with heartache," he's innocent, he's innocent."


Character No. 4: The man wearing glasses, who is more rational, but also is biased against the boy. He has been held the belief  that the boy was guilty until he was able to convince himself with the emergence of evidences. Finally, he changed his position and showed that he had the courage to admit his mistake. 


Character No. 5: Slumdog guy, who is very insecure. His origin makes him constantly imply that he is inferior. He was so low-spirited that he dared not express his views. It was only when the insulting words of others were so excessive that he could not bear and contradict them. However, no matter what you justify a ghetto child, someone will always tell you, "He's not talking about you, don't be so sensitive. "The people who say that way wouldn't think about whether you're right or not, they're just preoccupied with the idea of "Look, you're in the throes of this type of person, you're emotionally sensitive. Therefore, his social status made him less apt to speak his mind, which is why he said "I give up" in the first round. 


Character No. 6: Who is too silent to have any expression. Buddy, can you manifest your sense of being?


Character No. 7: The strange man in a hat, who stands for a huge number of people in real life. They only care about themselves and ignore others. Who declare not to be concerned with other people's affairs, I just want to be at ease. In this case, he was very upset that he has been involved in this boring argument, always thinking of free himself from it to watch the game. Whether he thinks the boy is guilty, or later hastily held the boy is innocent, he was it is in the spirit of seeking an immediate end. He may think it's no big deal, but in fact, he's ignoring of his vote is ignoring the boy's life. 


Character No. 8: The leading actor, who is a very responsible, with conscience and wisdom. At the time of the first vote, the other 11 people all considered the boy guilty but he felt that he could not vote. If he agrees, the boy will definitely die. He did not consider the boy innocent, but felt that the boy could not be identified guilty so recklessly. Under the pressure of the vast majority of people, he constantly put forward the suspect flaws in the evidences, and demonstrated them again and again. He even went to the neighborhood where the boy lived and bought a folding knife almost identical to the murder weapon to illustrate his point. He did his best to deal with it because he thought the jury system was a valuable part of democracy. The law gives you the right to vote on the life and death of others, and you should take it seriously, because life is not a joke. 


Character No. 9: Good-tempered grandpa, who was the first one to change the position and showed that he is quite compassionate. He is very meticulous in observing people and offered much help to Character No. 8. It shows that he is a very attentive and observant person in daily life. 


Character No. 10: The grumpy old man, who stands for the group of people are stubborn, irritable and biased. He looked at the boy and looked at the case with strong personal judgement and prejudices. He raved against the people of the slums, thought that they are the scum of society. And he, with a sense of superiority, excitedly shouted at others his own point of view, imposed on others, rude and impolite. Such a person who does not know how to respect others, will not win the respect of others. In the end, people left their seats indignantly as a silent protest. 


Character No. 11: The man wearing suspender trousers, from whose appearance and pronunciation of speech, we can see that he is an immigrant who is trying to integrate into American culture. He has been carefully taking notes and speak attentively from the beginning. He also corrected the defendant's pronunciation. He was also the first person to suggest the merits of American democracy. When Character No. 7 arbitrarily changed his own position, he angrily criticized his attitude. He is good at viewing and analyzing problems in an orderly way. 


Character No. 12: Similar to Character No. 7, he didn't care much about the trial. From the moment he come in, he has been talking to the people around him about his job, and yet he maintained a little sense of humor between in his words. The point is that he's also the only one of the twelve people who has changed his position twice. 


The director's successes in shaping a character is largely determined by whether the character resonates with the audience or provoke their thought. Character No. 8 represents some people in real life who have their own ideas and opinions and are often contrary to the public, who dare to challenge the authority, oppose the majority, and stick to the truth without wavering. Afterwards, Character No. 9, 5, 2, 11, 6, 4 all changed their position gradually through his analysis in the first half of the debate. These Characters represent the majority of people with preconceived ideas in society, but in public opinion and their own analysis, they will gradually change their views; some of them may not have their own opinions at first, some dare not express their ideas at first, some have always hidden their own thoughts, but in the end they choose to stand by the truth. Character No. 7 and Character No. 12 on the other hand represent some people in society who only care about their own affairs and do not care about others or the public. While number 10 and number 3 represent some opinionated, stubborn and radicals in society, who distort the truth deliberately for their own self-interest. 

Related Movie

Watch Movie 12 Angry Men (1957) Online - Click Here !