Inherit the Wind

Henry Drummond Character Analysis

A famous progressive, agnostic lawyer, one known for being able to win cases for his defendants, some of whom appear very much to be guilty, Henry Drummond works Cates’ case pro bono, and comes from Chicago to pit himself against Brady. Drummond respects Brady and does not ultimately believe that Christianity should be expunged from American society—rather, Drummond believes that religion and science each should be allowed to operate within their separate spheres. When Brady dies, Drummond mourns his passing and claims Brady was a great man—Drummond later leaves town with Cates and Rachel, on the same train, convinced that the Hillsboro trial has “moved forward” the case for the separation of religion and science. (This role is inspired by real-life attorney Clarence Darrow.)

Henry Drummond Quotes in Inherit the Wind

The Inherit the Wind quotes below are all either spoken by Henry Drummond or refer to Henry Drummond. 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:
Science vs. Religion Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Ballantine Books edition of Inherit the Wind published in 2003.
Act 1, Scene 1 Quotes

Hello, Devil. Welcome to Hell.

Related Characters: E. K. Hornbeck (speaker), Henry Drummond
Page Number: 36
Explanation and Analysis:

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Act 1, Scene 2 Quotes

Does Mr. Drummond refuse this man [Dunlap] a place on the jury simply because he believes in the Bible?
If you find an Evolutionist in this town, you can refuse him.

Related Characters: Matthew Harrison Brady (speaker), Henry Drummond (speaker)
Page Number: 41
Explanation and Analysis:

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Well, I’m pretty busy down at the feed store. My wife tends to the religion for both of us.
In other words, you take care of this life, and your wife takes care of the next one?

Related Characters: Henry Drummond (speaker), George Sillers (speaker)
Page Number: 45
Explanation and Analysis:

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I’ve seen what you can do to a jury. Twist and tangle them. Nobody’s forgotten the Endicott Publishing case—where you made the jury believe the obscenity was in their own minds, not on the printed page.

Related Characters: Matthew Harrison Brady (speaker), Henry Drummond
Page Number: 47
Explanation and Analysis:

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Mr. Drummond. You’ve got to call the whole thing off. It’s not too late. Bert knows he did wrong. He didn’t mean to. And he’s sorry. Now why can’t he just stand up and say to everybody: “I did wrong. I broke a law. I admit it. I won’t do it again.”

Related Characters: Rachel Brown (speaker), Bertram Cates, Henry Drummond
Page Number: 49
Explanation and Analysis:

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Can they make me testify?
I’m afraid so. It would be nice if nobody ever had to make anybody do anything. But—Don’t let Brady scare you. He only seems to be bigger than the law.

Related Characters: Rachel Brown (speaker), Henry Drummond (speaker), Matthew Harrison Brady
Page Number: 54
Explanation and Analysis:

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Act 2, Scene 1 Quotes

All motion is relative. Perhaps it is you who have moved away—by standing still.

Related Characters: Henry Drummond (speaker), Matthew Harrison Brady
Page Number: 67
Explanation and Analysis:

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Act 2, Scene 2 Quotes

Let’s put it this way, Howard. All this fuss and feathers about Evolution, do you think it hurt you any?
Sir?
Did it do you any harm? You still feel reasonably fit? Did it hurt your baseball game any? Affect your pitching arm?
No, sir. I’m a leftie.

Related Characters: Henry Drummond (speaker), Howard (speaker)
Page Number: 72
Explanation and Analysis:

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One of the peculiar imbecilities of our time is the grid of morality we have placed on human behavior: so that every act of man must be measured against an arbitrary latitude of right and longitude of wrong . . . .

Related Characters: Henry Drummond (speaker)
Page Number: 74
Explanation and Analysis:

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In this community, Colonel Drummond . . . the language of the law is clear; we do not need experts to question the validity of a law that is already on the books.
In other words, the court rules out any expert testimony on Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species or Descent of Man?
The court so rules.

Related Characters: Henry Drummond (speaker), The Judge (speaker)
Page Number: 83
Explanation and Analysis:

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Now tell me. Do you feel that every word that’s written in this book should be taken literally?
Everything in the Bible should be accepted, exactly as it is given there.

Related Characters: Matthew Harrison Brady (speaker), Henry Drummond (speaker)
Page Number: 87
Explanation and Analysis:

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Is that the way of things? God tells Brady what is good? To be against Brady is to be against God!

Related Characters: Henry Drummond (speaker), Matthew Harrison Brady
Page Number: 100
Explanation and Analysis:

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Act 3, Scene 1 Quotes

Bert, whenever you see something bright, shining, perfect-seeming—all gold, with purple spots—look behind the paint! And if it’s a lie—show it up for what it really is!

Related Characters: Henry Drummond (speaker), Bertram Cates
Page Number: 110
Explanation and Analysis:

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He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool shall be servant to the wise in heart.
We’re growing an odd crop of agnostics this year!

Related Characters: E. K. Hornbeck (speaker), Henry Drummond (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Wind
Page Number: 126
Explanation and Analysis:

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I’ll tell you Brady had the same right as Cates: the right to be wrong!

Related Characters: Henry Drummond (speaker), Bertram Cates
Page Number: 127
Explanation and Analysis:

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Henry Drummond Character Timeline in Inherit the Wind

The timeline below shows where the character Henry Drummond appears in Inherit the Wind. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, Scene 1
Science vs. Religion Theme Icon
David vs. Goliath Theme Icon
Morality, Justice, and Truth Theme Icon
Open-Mindedness vs. Closed-Mindedness Theme Icon
...Baltimore Herald, and that the paper has sent him to report on the trial, and Henry Drummond, from Chicago, to be Cates’ attorney. The town gasps at this latter piece of... (full context)
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Reverend Brown refers to Drummond as an “agnostic” and a “vicious, godless” man, saying that he once observed Drummond in... (full context)
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But Brady, returning to the party after conversing with Rachel, is told of Drummond’s arrival, and after a moment’s pause, he remarks that the town ought to welcome Drummond,... (full context)
Science vs. Religion Theme Icon
Open-Mindedness vs. Closed-Mindedness Theme Icon
...she sees a shadow walking toward the town from the station—a man Hornbeck identifies as Drummond, but whom Melinda calls the Devil. Hornbeck jokingly welcomes Drummond, “the Devil,” to Hell (the... (full context)
Act 1, Scene 2
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...the jury-summoning phase. The Judge is seated before the court: Brady sits with Davenport and Drummond sits with Cates. Rachel sits nervously in the courtroom, and Hornbeck is perched on a... (full context)
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Drummond then questions Bannister, asking if Bannister has read Darwin or the Bible. Bannister answers that... (full context)
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Oratory, Performance, and Public Speaking Theme Icon
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...take off their jackets, since it is so hot; the Judge agrees. Brady jokes with Drummond about Drummond’s “city” fashion, and Drummond jokes back with Brady, who is affronted that someone... (full context)
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...by Davenport as a juror (Dunlap says he believes in God and trusts in Brady); Drummond, however, does not accept Dunlap, implying that all jurors seem to be practicing and fervent... (full context)
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When Brady is referred to by the Judge and others as Colonel, Drummond again objects, stating that it is prejudicial that Brady was given an honorary title as... (full context)
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Oratory, Performance, and Public Speaking Theme Icon
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Open-Mindedness vs. Closed-Mindedness Theme Icon
...juror. Davenport accepts Sillers quickly as a “God-fearing” member of the town population. But as Drummond questions Sillers, Sillers reveals that, though he considers himself Christian, his wife does more of... (full context)
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Drummond, satisfied by this, accepts Sillers to the jury, but Davenport and Brady both worry that... (full context)
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The Judge tells both Drummond and Brady to stop—he states that the jury has been set, and orders the court... (full context)
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As people file out of the courtroom, Rachel comes up to Drummond and Cates, and tells Drummond that he and Cates should “call the whole thing off”... (full context)
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Drummond asks Cates if he’d really like to quit—Cates admits he had no idea his teaching... (full context)
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But Drummond counters that he cares about Cates and Cates’ opinions, and that he has taken the... (full context)
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Morality, Justice, and Truth Theme Icon
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...wants Cates to throw in the towel, Cates, after thinking for a moment, agrees with Drummond that he cannot give up. Rachel is angry, but Drummond appears proud of Cates for... (full context)
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Drummond informs Rachel that the court can force her to testify, but he tells Rachel not... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 1
Science vs. Religion Theme Icon
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...day of the trial. In response to one British reporter’s question, about Brady’s opinion of Drummond, Brady says that he supports Drummond, personally, as a lawyer and man, but that Brady... (full context)
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At this point, the prayer meeting ends, and Brady moves to Drummond, who is in the audience, asking him, privately, why Drummond has “moved away” from Brady,... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 2
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...all his faith torn from him. The crowd reacts warmly to Brady’s impromptu remarks as Drummond takes his turn to cross-examine Howard. (full context)
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Drummond asks Howard whether it’s wrong that Darwin thought up his theory of evolution—the Judge temporarily... (full context)
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Drummond then asks Howard, whose father is a farmer, if his father’s tractor was mentioned in... (full context)
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...the things Cates said to her, in private, regarding the nature of God and religion. Drummond objects that these discussions are hearsay and therefore not admissible as evidence, but the Judge... (full context)
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Although Drummond wishes to cross-examine Rachel, Rachel is so upset that Cates asks Drummond simply to let... (full context)
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Drummond proceeds to call a professor of zoology from the University of Chicago to the stand,... (full context)
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The Judge seems to agree with Brady, saying that the experts’ testimony—and Drummond has brought along fifteen experts to testify to the various biological, archeological, and geological facets... (full context)
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Drummond has “hit a roadblock,” and though he believes that Cates’ right to teach evolution would... (full context)
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Drummond is flummoxed, but he asks if he could call to the stand an expert witness... (full context)
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Drummond gets Brady to admit that, although he is an expert on the Bible, with many... (full context)
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Drummond asks Brady if Brady believes in the Bible as the literal truth, always—Brady answers that... (full context)
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Drummond asks Brady, then, about Joshua, who in the Bible is claimed to have made the... (full context)
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Drummond then asks Brady whether the sex that ancient Bible fathers engaged in with their wives,... (full context)
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But Drummond counters that Brady is not willing to concede to men the things that makes them... (full context)
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Drummond shows Brady a rock, with a fossilized marine creature inside, saying that the rock and... (full context)
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Drummond continues in this line—he asks whether, in the first days of creation, these days lasted... (full context)
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Brady has no quick answer for Drummond, but Davenport yells, objecting to the Judge, that Drummond is trying to ruin this Christian... (full context)
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Brady says Drummond is attacking the Bible, but Drummond answers that the Bible is a good book—and not... (full context)
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Brady becomes extremely upset, as Drummond states that only Brady is allowed to determine what is right and wrong, not just... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 1
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The scene opens as Hornbeck buzzes around Brady and Drummond, asking them how they feel about the trial—but both men ignore the reporter. Cates then... (full context)
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Drummond then tells a story from his childhood: his father, a working man, and his mother... (full context)
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...shouts out that the court, and the town, have returned to the Middle Ages, and Drummond requests that Cates may be given the right to speak, briefly. (full context)
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...will be, simply, a $100 fine. Brady believes this punishment is far too light, but Drummond argues that Cates will never pay any fine, because he and Cates will fight the... (full context)
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Brady says that he has a few remarks, but Drummond and the Judge say that these remarks, for the town and broadcast over radio, can... (full context)
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...stored in memory, from the three times he has run for, and lost, the Presidency. Drummond appears to feel sorry for this apoplectic Brady, as he is taken outside, but Hornbeck... (full context)
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Cates asks Drummond, after the Brady crisis has calmed in the courtroom, what will happen to him. Cates... (full context)
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...father’s house, and wishes to go with Cates wherever he’s headed. Rachel tells Cates and Drummond that she’s still not sure whether she believes in what Darwin wrote, but Rachel now... (full context)
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The Judge comes back in to announce that Brady has died. Drummond is greatly saddened by his death, but Hornbeck seems to rejoice, thinking that the world... (full context)
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Drummond then finds Brady’s Bible and the verse from Proverbs: “He that troubleth his own house... (full context)
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Hornbeck believes that Drummond is being too kind to Brady, but Drummond counters that Brady was simply a man... (full context)
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Drummond then says to Cates and to Rachel that he ought to be going, and when... (full context)