Twelve Angry Men

Three Character Analysis

A strong-minded, loud-mouthed, prejudiced man. Three is the final holdout in claiming the accused is guilty at the end of the play. His strong belief in the guilt of the youth seems to stem from his personal situation, his prejudices, and the painful rift between himself and his son (which causes him to judge all youth negatively).

Three Quotes in Twelve Angry Men

The Twelve Angry Men quotes below are all either spoken by Three or refer to Three. 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

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:

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.

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: 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:

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.

Four: Take a look at that knife. It's a very strange knife. I've never seen one like it before in my life and neither had the storekeeper who sold it to him.

[Eight reaches casually into his pocket and withdraws an object. No one notices this. He stands up quietly.]

Four: Aren't you trying to make us accept a pretty incredible coincidence?

Eight: I'm not trying to make anyone accept it. I'm just saying it's possible.

Three: (shouting). And I'm saying it's not possible.

[Eight swiftly flicks open the blade of a switch knife and jams it into the table next to the first one. They are exactly alike. There are several gasps and everyone stares at the knife. There is a long silence.]

Related Characters: Three (speaker), Four (speaker), Eight (speaker)
Related Symbols: Switch knife
Page Number: 23-24
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 mo

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 2 Quotes

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:

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.

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:

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.

Act 3 Quotes

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:

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.

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:

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.

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

Three Character Timeline in Twelve Angry Men

The timeline below shows where the character Three 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
Juror Three bristles at the need for the door to be locked. He adds that he is,... (full context)
Reflection of American Society Theme Icon
Justice Theme Icon
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
Prejudice vs. Sympathies Theme Icon
...asks everyone to openly admit that the heat in the room has them short-tempered. Juror Three, acting the contrarian, responds that he feels fine. Juror Twelve impatiently muses about his advertising... (full context)
Reflection of American Society Theme Icon
Prejudice vs. Sympathies Theme Icon
...emotion, like a prejudice against a group, get in the way of his thinking. Juror Three is focused on getting the case over. The Foreman announces that he will leave it... (full context)
Justice Theme Icon
Stubbornness and Taking a Stand Theme Icon
Prejudice vs. Sympathies Theme Icon
The vote is 11-1 in favor of guilty: Juror Eight is the only dissenter. Juror Three rises to confront Juror Eight, while Juror Twelve insists that the defendant’s guilt is as... (full context)
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
Stubbornness and Taking a Stand Theme Icon
Prejudice vs. Sympathies Theme Icon
Juror Three threatens to go through all the ways the prosecution “proved” the boy’s guilt. Juror Ten... (full context)
Justice Theme Icon
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
Prejudice vs. Sympathies Theme Icon
...prejudice and says Ten doesn’t have a “monopoly on the truth”. Nine continues over Juror Three’s objection, getting worked up until Juror Eight calms him. Juror Four insists that they can... (full context)
Justice Theme Icon
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
Juror Three steps in to summarize what he calls the “facts”, and then reiterates the witness account... (full context)
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
Prejudice vs. Sympathies Theme Icon
...up that the boy’s father beat him, Juror Seven retorts that he deserved it. Juror Three bitterly agrees, and lashes out against all “kids.” He says that he has had a... (full context)
Reflection of American Society Theme Icon
Prejudice vs. Sympathies Theme Icon
...room, Juror Five slams his hand on the table, saying that it is personal. Juror Three tries to calm Juror Five down, and there is a long silence. Eventually, Juror Eleven... (full context)
Justice Theme Icon
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
Juror Three brings up one of the “answered” questions, the switch knife the boy bought. Juror Eight... (full context)
Justice Theme Icon
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
Prejudice vs. Sympathies Theme Icon
...an unusual switchblade knife, the only one the storekeeper says he had in stock. Juror Three tells all the jurors to listen to Juror Four, who “knows what he’s talking about.”... (full context)
Justice Theme Icon
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
...into the wall for 2 dollars at a junk shop near the boy’s house. Juror Three calls Juror Eight’s move a smart trick, insisting still that the boy lied. Juror Eight... (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 interrupts, reminding them... (full context)
...Five who changed his vote, and asks what it was that made him change. As Three and Seven insist that Five tell them, Nine interrupts that he was the one who... (full context)
Reflection of American Society Theme Icon
Justice Theme Icon
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
...reflect that sometimes a guilty man is released and sometimes an innocent man is accused. Three apologizes to Five saying that he didn't mean anything personal by his accusation that Five... (full context)
Justice Theme Icon
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
Three says the old man heard the kid yell at his father, “I'm going to kill... (full context)
Justice Theme Icon
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
Prejudice vs. Sympathies Theme Icon
...saw the murder occur through the last two car windows of a passing elevated train. Three starts a game of tic-tac-toe, but Eight says this isn't the time for games and... (full context)
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
Prejudice vs. Sympathies Theme Icon
...the old man could have heard what he claims to have heard. Two agrees and Three asks whether they are calling the old man a liar. He asks why the old... (full context)
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
...he's not making this up and that he knows about this feeling this from experience. Three says Nine is admitting that he's a liar, but Eight argues he's only explaining the... (full context)
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
Prejudice vs. Sympathies Theme Icon
Three disagrees and says that the way the kid said it indicates that he meant it.... (full context)
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
...The Foreman requests the floor plan of the apartments from the Guard at the door. Three asks, why it is that Eight is the one who always wants to see exhibits... (full context)
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
Stubbornness and Taking a Stand Theme Icon
Prejudice vs. Sympathies Theme Icon
...Nine reminds them that the old man was very positive about the length of time. Three says that the witness is an old man, and half the time he was confused,... (full context)
Justice Theme Icon
Prejudice vs. Sympathies Theme Icon
Three says that Eight is making up wild stories because he feels sorry for slum kids.... (full context)
Act 3
Reflection of American Society Theme Icon
Justice Theme Icon
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
Prejudice vs. Sympathies Theme Icon
...says there's nothing wrong and returns the diagram of the apartments. The jurors are silent. Three ask them what they're looking at, but everyone is silent. Eventually Four points out that... (full context)
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
Prejudice vs. Sympathies Theme Icon
...says he's glad that they can be civilized about this process. Six proposes another vote. Three says he wants it to be an open ballot vote, so they know where each... (full context)
Reflection of American Society Theme Icon
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
Stubbornness and Taking a Stand Theme Icon
Three says that he's ready to declare a hung jury. Four asks Eleven, Two, and Six... (full context)
Stubbornness and Taking a Stand Theme Icon
...points out that at first he was alone, but now five others agree with him. Three says that he'll never be convinced. Twelve says they’re a hung jury. Eight insists they... (full context)
Justice Theme Icon
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
...he changed his mind. Two says that Eight seemed confident and made good arguments, while Three grew angry and mean. Four says these considerations don't change the guilt of the boy. (full context)
Justice Theme Icon
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
Three is very supportive of Four as he starts to outline his reasoning. He offers the... (full context)
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
...says the old man claims he recognized a running figure in that very dark hallway. Three says Eleven is just making things up. (full context)
Reflection of American Society Theme Icon
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
...says there's something that's been bothering him: the stab wound made at a downward angle. Three says that was gone over in court extensively. Two says he wasn't convinced. It seems... (full context)
Stubbornness and Taking a Stand Theme Icon
Three says that he'll demonstrate how a shorter man could kill a taller man with a... (full context)
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
Eight says that nobody's hurt and Three says that he just demonstrated how he'd stop a taller man. Six says, “I guess... (full context)
Reflection of American Society Theme Icon
Prejudice vs. Sympathies Theme Icon
...all those voting “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.... (full context)
Reflection of American Society Theme Icon
Prejudice vs. Sympathies Theme Icon
...window. Ten says these people are no good and this kid is one of them. Three stays at the table, while Four gets up and moves towards Ten. Ten wonders what's... (full context)
Reflection of American Society Theme Icon
Prejudice vs. Sympathies Theme Icon
...that the most important evidence comes from the testimony of the woman across the street. Three instantly agrees, also saying that this is the most important testimony. (full context)
Reflection of American Society Theme Icon
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
Three says that the other evidence is unimportant compared to this testimony. Four says that Eight... (full context)
Justice Theme Icon
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
...the kid in the act of killing, but she might have only seen a blur. Three wonders how Eight could know these ideas he proposes. (full context)
Justice Theme Icon
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
Stubbornness and Taking a Stand Theme Icon
...still thinks there is not a reasonable doubt. Ten says he thinks there is doubt. Three says that he still votes “guilty.” Four says he is convinced there is a reasonable... (full context)
Certainty and Doubt Theme Icon
Stubbornness and Taking a Stand Theme Icon
Eight asks Three for his arguments in favor of the kid’s guilt. He says that they have time... (full context)
Stubbornness and Taking a Stand Theme Icon
Three says that the others won’t intimidate him and that it will be a hung jury.... (full context)
Justice Theme Icon
Stubbornness and Taking a Stand Theme Icon
Three surrenders. The other jurors rise and the Foreman goes to the door. The Guard lets... (full context)