Twelve Angry Men

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Seven Character Analysis

A ridiculous man whose “guilty” vote seems to rest more on indifference than prejudice. Seven is the juror who continuously expresses a desire to wrap up the process quickly and leave. He is loud and extravagant, and he clearly is not invested in the judicial process or his judicial responsibility. He prefers to get distracted by such things as bullying Eleven for opening the window.

Seven Quotes in Twelve Angry Men

The Twelve Angry Men quotes below are all either spoken by Seven or refer to Seven. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Reflection of American Society Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the The Dramatic Publishing Company edition of Twelve Angry Men published in 1983.
Act 1 Quotes

Seven: Now wait a second. What are you, the guy's lawyer? Listen, there are still eleven of us who think he's guilty. You're alone. What do you think you're gonna accomplish? If you want to be stubborn and hang this jury, he'll be tried again and found guilty, sure as he's born.

Eight: You're probably right.

Seven: So what are you gonna do about it? We can be here all night.

Nine: It's only one night. A man may die.

Related Characters: Seven (speaker), Eight (speaker), Nine (speaker)
Page Number: 25
Explanation and Analysis:

Seven is one of the least engaged jurors; he seems to prioritize concluding the case and leaving, with little respect for the seriousness of the situation, as this passage shows. Despite his motives for rushing the decision, Seven makes a legitimate point about Eight taking a stand against the rest of the jurors. In choosing to stand alone, Eight is preventing a decision that is held by the majority, and that would be reinforced by another group of people if Eight's stubbornness resulted in a hung jury. Eight acknowledges the truth of these words. This shows the tension between stubbornness and taking a stand in the play. When is it good to stand up for what you believe and when is it appropriate to acknowledge that your thinking could be at fault? The play seems to answer that both are important. Three, at the end of the play, must yield to the majority. Eight, at the beginning, takes a stand for a good cause. 

Nine highlights Seven's frivolity in the face of what is at stake in these deliberations: a man's life. Seven's impatience with Eight is partly justified because there are times when one should be able to admit they could be wrong in the face of an overwhelming majority who disagrees. But Seven's impatience is not justified in terms of the ideal proceedings of justice. The legal system is designed to serve justice after thorough consideration and deliberation, and Seven is unwilling to sacrifice his time, even when another man's life is at stake. 

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Act 3 Quotes

Eleven: I beg your pardon, but maybe you don’t understand the term, “reasonable doubt.”
Seven: [angrily] What do you mean, I don’t understand it? Who do you think you are to talk to me like that? [To all] How do you like this guy? He comes over here running for his life, and before he can even take a big breath he’s telling us how to run the show. The arrogance of him!
Four: No one here is asking where anyone came from.
Seven: I was born right here.
Four: Or where your father came from. [Looks at Seven, who looks away.]

Related Characters: Four (speaker), Seven (speaker), Eleven (speaker)
Page Number: 53-54
Explanation and Analysis:

Seven takes personal offense when Eleven says that he does not understand the term "reasonable doubt." Seven's reaction shows that he is offended specifically because Eleven criticized him. Because Eleven is an immigrant, Seven implies that he has no right to tell him what to do or how to do it. He sees Eleven's attempt to correct him as arrogance, stating that because Eleven is an immigrant he is less entitled to speak about the American legal system. Four points out the unfairness of this attack because it is based on personal history. He says that no one should be asking about anyone's family's background. Seven feels he is different from Eleven because he was born in the United States, but Four's response "or where your father came from" implies that Seven is a first generation American.

Four's argument shows that Seven and Eleven have more in common than Seven might like to admit. America is a diverse nation of immigrants and using this as a basis for discrimination strikes Four as inaccurate and pointless, because it is something that many people have in common. He points out the illogical nature of Seven's prejudice against an immigrant when this is part of his background as well. Everyone is quick to think and speak from his own point of view, but this play repeatedly analyzes the problems with this. One problem is that you might have more in common than you suspect with someone whom you are prejudiced against. 

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Seven Character Timeline in Twelve Angry Men

The timeline below shows where the character Seven appears in Twelve Angry Men. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1
Reflection of American Society Theme Icon
...jurors enter, some go to the water cooler, Juror Five lights a pipe, and Juror Seven opens the window a bit wider, while still others stand and lean on their chairs. (full context)
Reflection of American Society Theme Icon
Juror Seven nervously offers gum to the men at the water cooler and makes idle chat. Juror... (full context)
Justice Theme Icon
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
...he had a friend who wanted to be on the jury instead of him. Juror Seven wonders why he didn’t take the friend up on this. The Foreman continues that his... (full context)
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
Prejudice vs. Sympathies Theme Icon
As the jurors keep talking, Juror Seven and Juror Ten agree that the boy’s story about losing his switchblade knife is ridiculous.... (full context)
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Prejudice vs. Sympathies Theme Icon
Juror Seven, meanwhile, expresses his impatience to get to a current Broadway show that night. The Foreman... (full context)
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Stubbornness and Taking a Stand Theme Icon
Prejudice vs. Sympathies Theme Icon
...was not “easy” for them, even though Juror Eight did not suggest it was. Juror Seven is defensive about how fast he voted. (full context)
Reflection of American Society Theme Icon
Stubbornness and Taking a Stand Theme Icon
...Eleven gets up to close the window, which starts an argument between him and Juror Seven. Juror Four proposes the compromise of trading chairs. The Foreman redirects everyone back to the... (full context)
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
Prejudice vs. Sympathies Theme Icon
Juror Seven brings up the kid’s record of stealing, knife fighting, and other crimes, sarcastically calling him... (full context)
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
Stubbornness and Taking a Stand Theme Icon
Juror Seven tells Juror Eight “you’re alone”. Angrily, he accuses Juror Eight of being stubborn and says... (full context)
Reflection of American Society Theme Icon
Justice Theme Icon
...that if all the votes stay the same, then he will vote “guilty” too. Juror Seven, Juror Four, Juror Twelve and the Foreman quickly agree, while Juror Eleven agrees more slowly.... (full context)
Act 2
Stubbornness and Taking a Stand Theme Icon
Juror Seven and Juror Three insist that they want to know who changed his vote. Juror Eleven... (full context)
Seven assumes that it was Five who changed his vote, and asks what it was that... (full context)
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Justice Theme Icon
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
Seven asks Eight who killed the father if the kid was not the murderer. He wonders... (full context)
Justice Theme Icon
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
Prejudice vs. Sympathies Theme Icon
...paper away. A man's life is at stake, Eight reminds them. Three is angry, but Seven calms him down, while the Foreman says he doesn't want any fights in the jury... (full context)
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
Prejudice vs. Sympathies Theme Icon
...believing a fairytale. Five says maybe the old man didn't lie, but maybe he did. Seven says that Eight ought to write for Amazing Detective Monthly because he's great at making... (full context)
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Justice Theme Icon
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
Seven wants to know why the kid’s lawyer wouldn't have brought up the points that Eight... (full context)
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Prejudice vs. Sympathies Theme Icon
Seven and Ten are not thrilled to look at the diagram of the apartments again. Four... (full context)
Act 3
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
Prejudice vs. Sympathies Theme Icon
...an open ballot vote, so they know where each juror stands. The Foreman, Three, Four, Seven, Ten, and Twelve vote guilty. Two, Five, Six, Eight, Nine, and Eleven vote not guilty.... (full context)
Justice Theme Icon
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
...do the stabbing in the reenactment, but Four says he'll do it. Three proposes that Seven be the one to be stabbed and fall. Four asks whether the murderer might look... (full context)
Reflection of American Society Theme Icon
Justice Theme Icon
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
...foot. Four reenact the crime. He cries out, “I'm going to kill you,” stabs downward, Seven collapses, Seven writhes, Four stares at him, Four cleans the knife, he looks around to... (full context)
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Prejudice vs. Sympathies Theme Icon
Twelve says that they ought to admit they are a hung jury. Eleven asks Seven if he truly believes there is no reasonable doubt. Seven says yes, and Eleven questions... (full context)
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Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
Seven apologizes and asks Eight if that apology was what he was looking for. Eight says... (full context)
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Prejudice vs. Sympathies Theme Icon
...the type of downward stab that killed his father. Three and Ten are not convinced. Seven says that they're not making any progress. (full context)
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
Prejudice vs. Sympathies Theme Icon
...man must be a liar and not a liar. All this leads to reasonable doubt. Seven says that he now feels a reasonable doubt. (full context)
Reflection of American Society Theme Icon
Prejudice vs. Sympathies Theme Icon
...goes to the window, then Nine gets up and goes to the window, and then Seven does. (full context)
Reflection of American Society Theme Icon
Prejudice vs. Sympathies Theme Icon
...Ten says he's known some of these people and they have no feelings. The Foreman, Seven, and Twelve go to the window. Ten says these people are no good and this... (full context)