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12 Angry Men Archetypes

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Lexi Hammond

on 4 June 2013

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Transcript of 12 Angry Men Archetypes

Twelve Angry Men The jurors as archetypes Archetype: the original pattern or model from which all things of the same kind are copied or on which they are based; a model or first form; prototype Stereotype: a simplified and standardized conception or image invested with special meaning and held in common by members of a group. In the play, each juror represents a specific archetype that was present in the 1950s. Many of these are still present and show up in many pieces of literature. For starters, each of the twelve jurors is a white male. This was specifically chosen by Reginald Rose to tell a greater story. In the 1950s, only white men were respected. Women and coloured people were not considered to be persons of value. This was a common archetypal theme that was present in the 1950s. The Foreman represents a person who is easily influenced by the opinions of others but acts as a leader. Juror number one is "the father." Juror number four represents a man of wealth and power who presents himself and his ideas in a clear manner. He is very concerned with the facts of the case, Juror number four is "the mediator." Juror number seven represents a man who is rude and inconsiderate. He also changes his opinion to fit with the majority of people and has trouble maintaining his focus on the case. Juror number seven is "the bully" or "the coward." Juror number eight represents a man who thinks before he acts and is a true leader. He ensures that his verdict is correct based on all the facts. He is able to provide every other juror with enough doubt to rule not guilty. Juror number eight is "the advocate" and/or "the detective." Juror number nine represents a man who is defeated by life and therefore decides to follow others. He decided to support juror eight's beliefs in order to maintain a fair discussion about the trial. Juror number nine is "the companion." Juror number ten represents a racist man. He does not accept people who are different than himself and believes that he is more superior than everyone else. Juror number ten is "the destroyer" and "the bigot." Juror number eleven represents a person who has suffered and seen so much injustice that he only wants justice to be served. Juror number eleven is "the avenger." Juror number twelve represents a man who is obsessed with his career and has no time for anything else. He tried to be a good person but found it difficult to focus on anything other than advertising. Juror number twelve is "the addict". What are some archetypes you have seen in the books, movies, poetry, etc. that you have read and/or watched? In your opinion, what archetype stood out the most in the play twelve angry men? Why do you think this one stood out to you? What archetype do you feel you relate with the most? Without being offensive, which archetype(s) remind you the most of your friends and other people around you? Why? An archetype is a reoccurring symbol, theme, character or setting that has appeared in literature so often that it is recognizable. Examples of Archetypes: Like Northop Frye stated in his lecture, literature repeats itself. The same is true for the characters in literature, thus forming archetypes. In Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, each character represents a classic archetype.
Snow White obviously is a princess and her step mother represents evil. Also, each dwarf represents something as well.
Happy, Sleepy, Sneezy, Grumpy, Dopey, Doc, and Bashful each represent one specific idea, as made obvious by their names. More Examples of Archetypes: The Hero archetype is one of the most common archetypes found in literature. In The Lion King, Simba can be viewed as a hero because of his ability to defeat Scar and become the ruler of the kingdom. As a class we are going to create our own Jury.
Think of characters from movies, celebrities, etc.
that match up with the archetype of each juror in
twelve angry men. As Katie mentioned yesterday, the twelve jurors represent society. Just like some people chose to blend into the background, some of the jurors did as well. These jurors do not have very apparent archetypes and just help move the story along. These include juror #2, juror 3, juror #5, and juror #6 catch phrase! time.
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