Twelve Angry Men

Ten Character Analysis

The most prejudiced and cruel character in the play, Ten is driven by a deep-seated “us versus them” complex concerning rich and poor. He speaks of the accused and people like him, from poor backgrounds, as “them.” He believes that none of “them” are trustworthy or good people. His bitterness and anger toward “them” spills over repeatedly in the play. At the end of the play, the other jurors move toward the window to express their disagreement with his cruelty by refusing to listen to him.

Ten Quotes in Twelve Angry Men

The Twelve Angry Men quotes below are all either spoken by Ten or refer to Ten. 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 numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the The Dramatic Publishing Company edition of Twelve Angry Men published in 1983.
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:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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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:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Act 3 Quotes

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:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Ten Character Timeline in Twelve Angry Men

The timeline below shows where the character Ten appears in Twelve Angry Men. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1
Justice Theme Icon
Prejudice vs. Sympathies Theme Icon
...that jury room doors are locked, and he’d never thought about it before, while Juror Ten responds that it’s obvious the doors would be locked. (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. Juror Ten explains... (full context)
Reflection of American Society Theme Icon
Prejudice vs. Sympathies Theme Icon
...Juror Eight, who is standing at the window not paying attention, to sit down. Juror Ten comments that the kid killed his father easily because “they” let their kids do whatever,... (full context)
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
Stubbornness and Taking a Stand Theme Icon
Prejudice vs. Sympathies Theme Icon
...Three threatens to go through all the ways the prosecution “proved” the boy’s guilt. Juror Ten brings up the “stupid story” about losing his switchblade again, all while Juror Four tries... (full context)
Justice Theme Icon
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
Prejudice vs. Sympathies Theme Icon
Juror Ten believes the kid got more than he deserves, a fair trial at the taxpayer’s expense.... (full context)
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
Prejudice vs. Sympathies Theme Icon
Juror Ten, speaking out of order, states his belief that the testimony of the woman across the... (full context)
Justice Theme Icon
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
...evidence, and slams it into the wall. There are gasps and a long silence. Juror Ten shouts, “who do you think you are?” The Foreman shouts for quiet. (full context)
Prejudice vs. Sympathies Theme Icon
Juror Eight asks the jurors whether they think the boy lied. Juror Ten and Juror Four both think it is a stupid question with an obvious answer. Juror... (full context)
Reflection of American Society Theme Icon
Justice Theme Icon
...Foreman. The Foreman counts the votes, and pauses at one that is “not guilty”. Juror Ten is immediately angry, while Juror Seven, snarling, demands to know who voted “not guilty.” He... (full context)
Act 2
Reflection of American Society Theme Icon
Justice Theme Icon
...should be protected because it was not protected in the country that he came from. Ten interrupts saying sarcastically that now they have to listen to Eleven talk about his country... (full context)
Reflection of American Society Theme Icon
Justice Theme Icon
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
...not easy to explain his doubt, and that it's only a feeling that he has. Ten complains that they're going to spend the night talking about feelings to the exclusion of... (full context)
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
Prejudice vs. Sympathies Theme Icon
...why he's changed his vote. Five says that he thinks there is a reasonable doubt. Ten says that Eight has talked Five into believing a fairytale. Five says maybe the old... (full context)
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
...the jurors where the old man's bedroom was in his apartment because he doesn't remember. Ten says that he thought Eight remembered everything. The Foreman requests the floor plan of the... (full context)
Reflection of American Society Theme Icon
Prejudice vs. Sympathies Theme Icon
Seven and Ten are not thrilled to look at the diagram of the apartments again. Four says that... (full context)
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
Prejudice vs. Sympathies Theme Icon
Ten says that Eight’s plan is insane and that he can't recreate the old man's movements.... (full context)
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
Ten tells Eight to speed up to match the old man's pace. Eight speeds up slightly.... (full context)
Act 3
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
Prejudice vs. Sympathies Theme Icon
...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. The... (full context)
Reflection of American Society Theme Icon
Prejudice vs. Sympathies Theme Icon
...“not guilty” raise their hands. Every hand is raised except those of Three, Four, and Ten. Ten says he cannot understand how others believe the kid is innocent. He says that... (full context)
Reflection of American Society Theme Icon
Prejudice vs. Sympathies Theme Icon
Ten says that “those people” are always drinking and fighting and that if someone gets killed... (full context)
Reflection of American Society Theme Icon
Prejudice vs. Sympathies Theme Icon
Four threatens Ten that if he speaks up again he'll “split [his] skull.” There is a long pause.... (full context)
Justice Theme Icon
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
Stubbornness and Taking a Stand Theme Icon
Eight asks if anyone still thinks there is not a reasonable doubt. Ten says he thinks there is doubt. Three says that he still votes “guilty.” Four says... (full context)