Twelve Angry Men

Pdf fan
Tap here to download this LitChart! (PDF)

Prejudice vs. Sympathies Theme Analysis

Themes and Colors
Reflection of American Society Theme Icon
Justice Theme Icon
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
Stubbornness and Taking a Stand Theme Icon
Prejudice vs. Sympathies Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Twelve Angry Men, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.
Prejudice vs. Sympathies Theme Icon

The play shows a variety of types of prejudice and the ways that it can affect those who hold those prejudices. At the same time, it also shows how the juror’s sympathies – usually considered a positive trait – can impact a person’s rationality or sense of justice. Most obviously, the play shows how the prejudices of the jurors affect their actions in the jury room. Racial or cultural prejudice plays a significant role in the deliberations, as many of the jurors, in particular Juror Ten, uses the term “them” to refer to the defendant and the community to which he belongs. (The actual race of the defendant is never mentioned, making the point that there are many racial prejudices at constant play in the world and the United States). Juror Three, meanwhile, is prejudiced against the young male defendant, it is suggested, because he is estranged from his own son and therefore has a negative view of all young men. Juror Eight, in contrast, sympathizes with the young man’s poor upbringing, and his initial vote of not guilty is based more on this sympathy than on a deep-seated principle about justice.

While showing the prejudices of many in American society towards “outsider” groups, the play also shows how the jurors are prejudiced against each other within the jury room itself. They judge each other based on how they look, what they say, how much money they have or make, or even based on the prejudices they reveal during deliberations. This prejudice is immediately noticeable when Juror Three says of Juror Four, “Ask him to hire you. He’s rich. Look at that suit!” in the opening conversation. As the jurors sift through the evidence more deeply, some retain their prejudices and stand firm in their first impressions. However, as they get to know each other and realize the ways in which the evidence may not add up, it is also notable how they are forced – at least within that jury room – to temporarily see past their prejudices. As this happens, the play shows how prejudice can make a person blind to the full complexity of the world, while also suggesting that it need not be this way.

Get the entire Twelve Angry Men LitChart as a printable PDF.
Twelve angry men.pdf.medium

Prejudice vs. Sympathies ThemeTracker

The ThemeTracker below shows where, and to what degree, the theme of Prejudice vs. Sympathies appears in each Act of Twelve Angry Men. Click or tap on any chapter to read its Summary & Analysis.
How often theme appears:
Act length:

Prejudice vs. Sympathies Quotes in Twelve Angry Men

Below you will find the important quotes in Twelve Angry Men related to the theme of Prejudice vs. Sympathies.
Act 1 Quotes

Ten: It's tough to figure, isn't it? A kid kills his father. Bing! Just like that. Well, it's the element. They let the kids run wild. Maybe it serves ‘em right.

Related Characters: Ten (speaker), Four , Accused kid, Murdered father
Page Number: 13
Explanation and Analysis:

Early dialogue in the play helps to establish the diverse characters of the twelve jurors. These men differ in age, occupation, experience, background, religion, and (presumably) race. These differences result in a variety of types of prejudices and sympathies, and the play often reveals why certain characters think in certain ways and make certain assumptions. In this passage, juror Ten is already establishing his character and prejudices. Throughout the play, he shows a dislike of the group of people to whom the defendant belongs. It seems that the kid accused of killing his father is poor and grew up in an impoverished neighborhood. His race is never specified, but because Ten groups the accused with people different than himself (a group he belittles and stereotypes, assuming everyone from that group to be the same), it may be that the accused kid belongs to a minority racial group as well (but this all depends on individual staging of the play, of course). 

Ten's vitriolic remarks escalate over the course of the play and eventually alienate other jurors who are shocked at the amount of unfounded hatred he displays. In this early scene, however, Ten's remarks against a whole group of people go relatively unnoticed by the other jurors. All the jurors exhibit forms of prejudice. Although the word "prejudice" normally has a negative connotation, this play presents a connected idea of "sympathy." Juror Eight is inclined to like and feel sorry for the accused kid because of his impoverished background, while Ten is inclined to dislike him. Both are forms of bias, and though sympathy is a more virtuous kind of bias in the world outside the courtroom, for a jury, all bias, whether positive or not, is supposed to be removed. 


Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other Twelve Angry Men quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!

Three: I never saw a guiltier man in my life... You sat right in court and heard the same thing I did. The man's a dangerous killer. You could see it.


Eight: He's nineteen years old.

Related Characters: Three (speaker), Eight (speaker), Accused kid
Page Number: 15
Explanation and Analysis:

Unlike Ten's collective prejudice, Three displays a more specific and personal dislike of the accused kid. Eventually it becomes clear that Three has bad memories of his son and holds onto the accused kid's guilt to an irrational degree because of this strained relationship. Three is the least rational of the jurors. He is stubborn and he does not waffle like some of the others, but he bases his opinion on impressions and feelings, rather than facts. Here, he exhibits this tendency when he says "you could see" that the accused kid is a dangerous killer, simply by looking at him. Three's certainty of the kid's guilt is founded on shaky ground. At the same time, Eight's doubt is also emotionally-based, as his reply demonstrates. Where Three sees a killer, Eight sees a kid. Eight is inclined to give a kid the benefit of the doubt because of his age. 

From the beginning to the end of the play, Eight and Three reverse roles. At the beginning, Eight stands alone for "not guilty," and at the end, Three stands alone for "guilty." This parallel between the characters shows their similarities and differences. They both base their initial opinions of the kid on their prejudices, but they behave very differently when "taking a stand." Three continues his stubborn conviction based on his feelings, whereas Eight, despite his own sentiments, turns to logic and reasoning to address others. He does not fold under the pressure Three (and the others) put on him for standing alone.

Eight: I don't want to change your mind.... I want to talk for a while. Look – this boy's been kicked around all his life. You know – living in a slum – his mother dead since he was nine. That's not a very good head start. He's a tough, angry kid. You know why slum kids get that way? Because we knock 'em on the head once a day, every day. I think maybe we owe him a few words. That's all.

Related Characters: Eight (speaker), Accused kid
Page Number: 15-16
Explanation and Analysis:

Eight's initial explanation of why he wants to discuss the accused kid's case does not include an analysis of evidence or the mention of reasonable doubt. This is a notable nuance of the play: Eight is not free from prejudice, despite his critical heroic role in this play. Eight is presented as a hero who persuades the other jurors to change their minds and spare a youth through his thoughtful arguments for reasonable doubt.

This passage shows, however, that emotion, not logic, motivates him. Despite his honorable behavior in granting the defendant's case thorough discussion rather than a rash decision, Eight is just as predisposed to think in certain ways and make certain assumptions as the other jurors. He is sympathetic toward the defendant, and this is partially because of his own feeling of guilt. He sees himself and his group as repeatedly and unfairly mistreating the members of the defendant's group. Eight is biased in favor of the accused kid because he sees his toughness and anger as the result of this mistreatment.

Eight believes in giving each person consideration of his circumstances when considering his crime. He points out the hardships in the kid's life, including the death of his mother. From a legal standpoint, the death of his mother should have no bearing on the kid's guilt. The crime, and not his life, is what is under consideration. But humans are not fully rational beings, and Eight exhibits the power of sympathy to sway opinions.

Ten: I don't mind telling you this, mister. We don't owe the kid a thing. He got a fair trial, didn't he? You know what that trial cost? He's lucky he got it. Look, we're all grownups here. You're not going to tell us that we're supposed to believe him, knowing what he is. I've lived among 'em all my life. You can't believe a word they say. You know that.

Related Characters: Ten (speaker), Eight, Accused kid
Page Number: 16
Explanation and Analysis:

Ten presents a counter-point to Eight's sympathy for the accused kid. Just as Eight is more inclined to give time, consideration, and understanding to the kid because of his circumstances, Ten is less inclined to give these things. He sees the kid as representative of a group that he dislikes and distrusts. His prejudice against "them" leads him to conclude that "you can't believe a word they say." Who the "they" are exactly is unclear, but the ambiguity contributes to the timelessness and universality of the play. If this play was staged in a certain city at a certain time period, the audience might automatically assume the kid belongs to a group they know to be poor and unprivileged. In a different city, at a different time period, the audience might instinctively assign the kid to a different group. There have always been groups that are judged and discriminated against by the majority and the kid could belong to any of these. 

Interestingly, Ten says that he lived among this group all his life, yet he doesn't identify as one of them. Does Ten's personal exposure to this group lead to his particular vitriol against them? Or is this an exaggeration to explain why he feels justified making such claims? Perhaps suffering at the hands of specific people in Ten's life have made him the way that he is. Whatever the reason for his prejudice, it is clear that Ten's understanding of justice for the kid is different than Eight's. 

Nine: (to Ten very slowly). I don't know that. What a terrible thing for a man to believe! Since when is dishonesty a group characteristic? You have no monopoly on the truth.

Related Characters: Nine (speaker), Ten
Page Number: 16
Explanation and Analysis:

Ten's prejudiced statements against the group that the accused kid belongs to turn Nine against him. Nine sees Ten's statements as illogical because they assume that generalizations about groups of people are true. He questions Ten: "since when is dishonesty a group characteristic?" This remark points out the flaws in all prejudices rather than providing commentary on this specific example. The accused kid might be honest or dishonest. The audience never discovers this one way or the other in the course of the play. However, Nine makes the argument that to assume dishonesty of an individual because he is part of a certain group is flawed logic. Even if a stereotype exists for a reason, it is unfair to apply this stereotype to everyone in the group. There will always be many exceptions to the rule. 

Nine shows Ten that prejudices are flawed because they assume more certainty than one should rationally claim. Ten assumes that the kid is dishonest and, therefore, guilty. Nine says this is a horrible thing to believe because it leads to certainty without any foundation. Ten makes an assumption without evidence in a specific case. Yet, he is very certain about his assumption. Nine, on the other hand, feels it is worthwhile to always consider the exceptions to the rule and to avoid broad assumptions. He lives his life with more doubt and more questions because he does not make assumptions about groups of people as a whole. He looks (or tries to look) at people as individuals. 

Three: You’re right. It's the kids. The way they are—you know? They don't listen. I've got a kid. When he was eight years old, he ran away from a fight. I saw him. I was so ashamed. I told him right out, "I'm gonna make a man out of you or I'm gonna bust you up into little pieces trying." When he was fifteen he hit me in the face. He's big, you know. I haven't seen him in three years. Rotten kid! You work your heart out....

Related Characters: Three (speaker)
Page Number: 21
Explanation and Analysis:

Three's statements about the accused kid are interrupted by a story he shares about his relationship with his own son. Although this seems off-topic, the connection between these things in Three's mind is clear. Talking about the accused kid misbehaving and not listening makes him thinking of his own kid misbehaving and not listening. He makes it clear that he assumes all kids have these problems when he says, "It's the kids. The way they are--you know? They don't listen." He expands his own experience with a kid into a generalization about all kids. Like Ten's prejudice against the kid's group, Three's prejudice against kids in general leads him to be overly confident in his accusation. He feels certain of the kid's guilt without a logical basis for his certainty. 

Three's stubbornness is more understandable with his personal context. Even though Three is cruel, abrasive, and stubborn, his story makes it clear that he is in pain and that the source of his actions is personal suffering, which he is reminded of because of this case. Three was cruel to his son--threatening him for running from a fight--but his bitterness is stated in the stage directions and his unhappiness is palpable as he says "I haven't seen him in three years." On one level, he might feel his kid is really "rotten," but on another level, he feels pain (and possibly guilt) over their estrangement. 

Five: I've lived in a slum all my life.

Ten: Oh, now wait a second!

Five: I used to play in a back yard that was filled with garbage. Maybe it still smells on me.

Foreman: Now let's be reasonable. There's nothing personal.

[Five stands up.]

Five: There is something personal!

Related Characters: Foreman (speaker), Five (speaker), Ten (speaker)
Page Number: 21
Explanation and Analysis:

Juror Five, who is more youthful than the other jurors and who comes from a poor background, takes objection to Ten's ongoing prejudice against the group of people that includes the kid. This prejudice seems to be based on the group's low socio-economic class, which Ten sees as contributing to their violence toward others and their deceptive natures. Five realizes that Ten could be speaking about him, indirectly, because his background makes him a member of this group. Ten immediately backtracks and the Foreman tries to soothe the situation, but the Foreman's comment points out the problem with Ten's prejudice. The Foreman tries to soothe Five by saying that their is nothing personal in Ten's comments, meaning he is not directly attacking Five. But Five sees how his prejudice, although spoken generically about a group of people, directly impacts individual people, of which he could be considered one. 

This diversity within the jury shows the jury to be a "slice" of American life. Ten is pitted against the accused, but Five is sympathetic toward him because he sees the similarities in their lives. The jurors represent a variety of different viewpoints because of their different backgrounds. Because of this diversity, the jury, as a whole, is able to consider the accused kid and the evidence from a variety of different angles of prejudice and sympathy that, ideally, balance each other out in their decision-making process. 

Act 2 Quotes

Nine: It's just that I looked at him for a very long time. The seam of his jacket was split under the arm. Did you notice that? He was a very old man with a torn jacket, and he carried two canes. I think I know him better than anyone here. This is a quiet, frightened, insignificant man who has been nothing all his life, who has never had recognition—his name in the newspapers. Nobody knows him after seventy-five years. That's a very sad thing. A man like this needs to be recognized. To be questioned, and listened to, and quoted just once. This is very important.

Twelve: And you're trying to tell us he lied about a thing like this just so that he could be important?

Nine: No. He wouldn't really lie. But perhaps he'd make himself believe that he heard those words and recognized the boy's face.

Related Characters: Nine (speaker), The old man downstairs
Page Number: 33-34
Explanation and Analysis:

Nine feels that he understands the character of the old man who testified because he can relate most to him, as an old and (presumably) overlooked man himself. He points out details about the old man that he paid attention to and that might have seemed insignificant to the other jurors. He explains that the old man's ragged coat and his insecurities make him someone who is eager and grateful for the attention of the court. The psychological impact of this, to someone who is in desperate need of attention, will be to prolong that interaction. Twelve misunderstands this, as is clear when he asks whether Nine means that the old man lied in his testimony. Lying implies that the old man knowingly deceived the court and the jurors. Nine is speaking of something more subtle: the old man's slight exaggeration of his own certainty. He might have come to believe that he definitely saw the accused kid in the stairwell when in fact he wasn't certain at first. 

This passage provides another angle on the relationship between doubt and certainty. Doubt and certainty are not only the products of reason, but of emotion and memory. Even an eyewitness can be unsure of what he or she saw. Emotional pressure can impact one's certainty. It is easy, with time, to become more or less certain of what happened before one's eyes. Eye witnesses can be very unreliable for this reason. The doubt or certainty of the jurors is based on evidence which is already shifting between doubt and certainty. 

Three: (angrily). He's an old man. You saw him. Half the time he was confused. How could he be positive about anything? [Looks around sheepishly, unable to cover up his blunder.]

Related Characters: Three (speaker), The old man downstairs
Page Number: 38
Explanation and Analysis:

The old man's testimony has seemingly been undermined by Nine's comments that the old man might have had a reason to exaggerate, to claim he was more certain than he was about what happened. But one of the details that he was most confident of was how long it took him to get to the door. And yet this time seems impossible to the jurors. Does this undermine the old man's testimony? He must have been lying or misremembering when stating the amount of time it took him to get to the door, and, therefore, he could be lying about or misremembering other details. This shred of doubt makes the jurors less certain about all of the old man's testimony. 

Three, in this passage, is quick to say that the details of the testimony shouldn't matter. Of course, he says, the old man got the time wrong. He's a confused old man. As he speaks these words, however, he realizes that they undermine his agenda by negating all of the old man's testimony. An error in the testimony shouldn't be explained away by stating that an old man was bound to make mistakes, so this one should be overlooked. This implies that anything else in the testimony could also be a mistake. The use of the word "positive" in Three's statement incorporates the idea of "certainty." It seems the old man couldn't be certain, which calls his testimony into reasonable doubt--the exact thing Three is stubbornly trying to avoid.

Eight: You want to see this boy die because you personally want it—not because of the facts.

Three: Shut up!

[He lunges at Eight, but is caught by two of the jurors and held. He struggles as Eight watches calmly.]

Three: Let me go. I'll kill him. I’ll kill him!

Eight: You don't really mean you'll kill me, do you?

Related Characters: Three (speaker), Eight (speaker), Accused kid
Page Number: 43
Explanation and Analysis:

Eight argues that the kid's overhead yell of "I'll kill you" should not be treated as evidence of intention. Many people would say such a thing in an impassioned moment and not follow through with it, or even actually mean it. This is a (relatively) common phrase expressing anger, and should not be treated as a statement of intent or premeditation. Minutes later, the tension between Eight and Three rises to a fevered pitch, as Eight accuses Three of arguing for the accused kid to die because he "personally wants it." This conclusion shows the difference between ideal justice and reality. Eight is pointing out that Three is motivated by personal judgements. He is not operating as an unbiased judge of the situation. 

This accusation angers Three, who is always quick to respond emotionally. His anger seems to derive from the fact that Eight would make such a bold and offensive claim implying that Three wants someone to die. Three's anger and following comments hurt his reputation far more than Eight's accusation, however, because he seems to confirm his own hotheadedness, while also proving Eight's point from earlier. He yells that he'll kill Eight, because he's angry that Eight would accuse him of wanting someone dead, which is a very ironic twist. Eight's reply points almost too neatly to their earlier conversation. Does Three really mean this, or is he speaking in the heat of passion? And if he doesn't really mean it, why couldn't the same have been true of the accused kid's circumstances?

Act 3 Quotes

Eleven: We have a responsibility. This is a remarkable thing about democracy. That we are...ummmm... what is the word...Ah, notified! That we are notified by mail to come down to this place and decide on the guilt or innocence of a man we have not known before. We have nothing to gain or lose by our verdict. This is one of the reasons why we are strong. We should not make it a personal thing.

Related Characters: Eleven (speaker)
Page Number: 44-45
Explanation and Analysis:

Juror Eleven, the immigrant, continues to hold onto and remind others of the ideals of justice and the way the American legal system has been designed to uphold these ideals. One aspect of this design that is effective, Eleven feels, is that the jurors have never met the accused before and so have no reason to be swayed in one way or another. He says that they have "nothing to gain or lose," and that this lack of bias makes them strong. This is, of course, an idealization of the process of trial-by-jury that has already been undercut by the actions of the play itself. Eleven believes that the jury should be impartial, and yet it is clear that the jury members have a variety of prejudices reflective of the diverse perspectives of American society. Eleven thinks that only knowing the accused would lead them to be impartial when, in fact, the jurors' own personal experiences have biased them before they ever saw the accused kid or heard about the case. 

The final line of this passage shows that Eleven is aware of his statements about justice as an ideal. He says that the jurors "should not make it a personal thing." He has earlier highlighted their responsibility as selected jurors to fulfill their duty well. The word "should" in his statement shows that he sees this as an ideal that the jurors are striving toward, not reaching. They "should" be acting without bias, but they're not. 

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. 

Ten: …You know, they get drunk, and bang, someone’s lying in the gutter. Nobody’s blaming them. That’s how they are. You know what I mean? Violent!…Most of them, it’s like they have no feelings…They’re no good. There’s not one of ‘em who’s any good. We better watch out. Take it from me.

Related Characters: Ten (speaker), Accused kid, Murdered father
Page Number: 59
Explanation and Analysis:

Ten's vitriolic hatred of the group to which the accused kid belongs finally spills over into a cruel tirade in which it seems inconceivable to him that the other jurors are changing their minds and pardoning the kid. As Ten speaks, the jurors begin to leave the table and stand at the window. This is a silent protest against the blatant prejudice and hatred in Ten's words, as if the jurors are refusing to listen to and condone what he says. Ten seems to burn himself out with this speech and to realize that the other jurors do not agree with him, as he silently joins the majority for "not guilty" after this final tirade fails. Perhaps he realizes that he has gone too far and exposed a level of hatred that is shocking even to others who have their own sets of prejudices. 

Ten is unable to see even the slightest hope of redemption for the group to which the accused kid belongs. He says "there's not one of 'em who's any good." He refers to them as "violent" and sees this violence as part of their natures: "that's how they are." He sees a lifestyle (or race) as the source of this violence, a lifestyle of drinking and violence that perpetuates more drinking and violence. The shocking part of this speech is Ten's lack of sympathy for people stuck in a community plagued by violence. Instead, he cautions his fellow jurors to "watch out" for these types. 

Three: …You made all the arguments. You can’t turn now. A guilty man’s going to be walking the streets. A murderer! He’s got to die! Stay with me!...

Four: I’m sorry. I’m convinced. I don’t think I’m wrong often, but I guess I was this once. There is a reasonable doubt in my mind.

Related Characters: Three (speaker), Four (speaker), Accused kid
Page Number: 62
Explanation and Analysis:

Juror Four maintains his rational thinking throughout the play. He switches sides with grace once he feels that "there is a reasonable doubt in my mind." In his measured thinking and unbiased rationality, Four embodies a sort of "ideal juror." He holds onto the ideal of the justice system--that reasonable doubt results in a "not guilty" verdict--and he isn't swayed by passion or stubbornness, but by measured persuasion. He exhibits strength in this passage by publicly admitting he was wrong. This shows the contrast between him and Three, who stubbornly sticks to his viewpoint. Four demonstrates that stubbornness is not the same thing as taking a righteous stand, and that gracefully yielding is more valuable than being stubborn in the face of reason. 

Three is stubborn, but he is also certain of the kid's guilt, as if blind to the rational arguments made by others. He is horrified by the thought of a murderer walking the streets free. He feels certain that the kid must die to pay for his crime. Three sees Four's rational arguments against the kid (and his initial "guilty" vote) as evidence that Four was on his side, rather than as examples of Four's rational thinking. It is difficult for Three to imagine being convinced by evidence when, throughout the play, it is clear that he makes his judgements through gut instinct, as he did when he stated that anyone "could see" that the kid was a murderer, just by looking at him. 

Eight: [to Three] They’re waiting. [Three sees that he is alone. He moves to table and pulls switch knife out of table and walks over to Eight with it. Three is holding knife in approved knife-fighter fashion. Three looks long and hard at juror Eight and weaves a bit from side to side as he holds knife with point of it in direction of Eight’s belly. Eight speaks quietly, firmly.] Not guilty. [Three turns knife around and Eight takes it by handle. Eight closes knife and puts it away.]

Three: Not guilty!

Related Characters: Three (speaker), Eight (speaker), Accused kid
Related Symbols: Switch knife
Page Number: 63
Explanation and Analysis:

This poignant final confrontation between Three and Eight ends the play with all the jurors unanimously agreeing that the accused kid is "not guilty." This scene moves the struggle from one of logic, prejudice, and words to a struggle that is nonverbal and even potentially violent. Throughout this play, the jurors have used their words to persuade each other. In some cases, this has meant using logic and precision, and in other cases this has meant using personal experience, passion, or emotion. Justice has been sought despite the flaws of prejudice and hatred, despite the biases of the diverse jury. But in this scene it seems that the struggle has shifted from a struggle between "guilty" and "not guilty" to a personal struggle between Three and Eight. 

Eight says "not guilty" and Three repeats the words after him, surrendering the knife in the same moment. This action symbolizes Three's surrender. Eight's way of persuading Three in this passage is mostly nonverbal. He seems more powerful than Three because he does not seem afraid, even though Three is threatening him with a knife. Three, on the other hand, notes that "he is alone" and seems cowed by this. Three does not take a stand, as Eight did, but surrenders when he is the only juror on one side of the equation. Even though Eight has achieved a great feat by convincing eleven jurors to switch to his side, the strength of Eight's character calls the process of justice into question. Eight is smart, persuasive, courageous, and powerful (more powerful than Three in this passage), and it seems these things, more so than the truth of the kid's situation, have resulted in the conclusion of this play and the justice that is served.