Inherit the Wind

Matthew Harrison Brady Character Analysis

A three-time Presidential candidate (and runner-up) and famous public speaker, Brady comes to Hillsboro to try the case against Cates for the prosecution and is treated like a hero. During the trial, however, Brady is exposed by Drummond to be a vain self-aggrandizer who wants to impose his religious beliefs on others. After his humiliation at the trial, Brady soon dies of something resembling a stroke. (This role is inspired in part by William Jennings Bryant, the presidential candidate and prosecuting attorney in the original Scopes case.)

Matthew Harrison Brady Quotes in Inherit the Wind

The Inherit the Wind quotes below are all either spoken by Matthew Harrison Brady or refer to Matthew Harrison Brady. 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

I understand your loyalty, my child. This man, the man in your jailhouse, is a fellow schoolteacher. Likeable, no doubt. And you are loath to speak out against him before all these people. Think of me as a friend, Rachel. And tell me what troubles you.

Related Characters: Matthew Harrison Brady (speaker), Rachel Brown
Page Number: 25
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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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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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

I know it’s warm, Matt; but these night breezes can be treacherous. And you know how you perspire.

Related Characters: Mrs. Brady (speaker), Matthew Harrison Brady
Related Symbols: The Wind
Page Number: 61
Explanation and Analysis:

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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

Did you hear that, my friends? “Old World Monkeys”! According to Mr. Cates, you and I aren’t even descended from good American monkeys!

Related Characters: Matthew Harrison Brady (speaker), Bertram Cates
Related Symbols: Monkeys
Page Number: 69
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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Matthew Harrison Brady Character Timeline in Inherit the Wind

The timeline below shows where the character Matthew Harrison Brady appears in Inherit the Wind. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, Scene 1
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Rachel tells Cates that Matthew Harrison Brady, the “second most-powerful man in America, after the President,” is coming to town, and that... (full context)
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Meeker remarks to Cates, when the two are alone, that Meeker voted for Brady for President twice (Brady has run three times, but has lost each one). Meeker also... (full context)
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...hello to Krebs and the Storekeeper, and asks why the banner isn’t up yet, welcoming Brady to Hillsboro. (full context)
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The town is a-bustle with excitement; it seems that every member of the town welcomes Brady’s arrival, and that his coming to Hillsboro is one of the biggest events in the... (full context)
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As the townspeople rush to greet Brady at the platform, Hornbeck asks the Storekeeper whether he has an opinion on evolution; the... (full context)
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Brady gives an impromptu speech to the crowd. He thanks them for the song and warm... (full context)
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Brady has a picture taken with the Mayor, a shy man who is in awe of... (full context)
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Brady meets Tom Davenport, the district attorney with whom he is partnered in the prosecution—Brady vows... (full context)
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Brady, after eating, asks the crowd whether Cates is a “criminal by nature.” Rachel, who emerges... (full context)
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...he does not yet know, but he thinks this attorney will stand no chance against Brady. Hornbeck enters this conversation and tells the Mayor and Davenport, along with others gathered around,... (full context)
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But Brady, returning to the party after conversing with Rachel, is told of Drummond’s arrival, and after... (full context)
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As the party ends, Brady thanks the Reverend Brown for the warm conversation he has had with Rachel—Brady implies that... (full context)
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...all answers to human evolution can be found in the Bible, and that she believes Brady would not have come unless Cates were truly wrong to teach evolution. (full context)
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But Hornbeck responds that Brady only pretends to be a champion of the people; Hornbeck implies that Brady’s speeches are... (full context)
Act 1, Scene 2
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...with the trial, which is 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... (full context)
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Brady moves, to the Judge, to ask if men in the court can take off their... (full context)
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...accepted 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... (full context)
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When Brady is referred to by the Judge and others as Colonel, Drummond again objects, stating that... (full context)
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Drummond, satisfied by this, accepts Sillers to the jury, but Davenport and Brady both worry that Sillers might be more open to an evolutionist argument, since he seems... (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 to reconvene... (full context)
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...court can force her to testify, but he tells Rachel not to be afraid of Brady. He also tells her that it takes “courage” to care for a man like Cates... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 1
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The scene opens with Brady making his way to the prayer meeting outside the courthouse and answering reporters’ questions. It... (full context)
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Brady runs into Hornbeck, the Baltimore reporter, and tells him he has read his progressive, anti-religious,... (full context)
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Reverend Brown and the Bradys sit on a small stage above the courthouse square, overlooking a crowd of Hillsboro citizens.... (full context)
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At this point, Brady, who has been made uncomfortable by Brown’s sermon’s darker tinge, takes over the speech, saying... (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... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 2
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The scene opens in the courtroom, two days later; Brady is examining Howard, a student of Cates’, at the witness stand. Howard testifies that Cates... (full context)
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Brady makes a speech to the courtroom crowd, not just to the jurors, saying that Howard,... (full context)
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...or their family’s telephone—implying that some scientific items simply exceed the scope of religion. But Brady objects here, saying that Drummond is confusing Howard on purpose, but Drummond counters that Brady... (full context)
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Howard is excused by the Judge, and Rachel is brought to testify. Brady begins questioning her, asking if she and Cates attend the same church. Rachel responds that... (full context)
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...that Brown’s judgment of Tommy, after Tommy’s death, caused Tommy’s family and others in Hillsboro. Brady asks that Cates’ interruption be stricken from the record. (full context)
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Brady then questions Rachel about some of the things Cates said to her, in private, regarding... (full context)
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...once, that “God created man in his image—and man, being a gentleman, returned the compliment.” Brady implies that Cates also made comments, to Rachel, about marriage between humans being no different... (full context)
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...of Chicago to the stand, to explain the theory of evolution to the courtroom. But Brady objects, and the Judge admits he can see no reason to allow such an expert... (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... (full context)
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...if he could call to the stand an expert witness with knowledge of the Holy Bible—Brady, his opponent. Drummond is pursuing a stratagem that he is inventing on the fly—the Judge,... (full context)
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Drummond gets Brady to admit that, although he is an expert on the Bible, with many passages “committed... (full context)
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Drummond asks Brady if Brady believes in the Bible as the literal truth, always—Brady answers that he does.... (full context)
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Drummond asks Brady, then, about Joshua, who in the Bible is claimed to have made the sun stand... (full context)
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Drummond then asks Brady whether the sex that ancient Bible fathers engaged in with their wives, which Brady considers... (full context)
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But Drummond counters that Brady is not willing to concede to men the things that makes them human at all—the... (full context)
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Drummond shows Brady a rock, with a fossilized marine creature inside, saying that the rock and creature both... (full context)
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...first days of creation, these days lasted 24 hours or some longer amount of time. Brady admits that he does not know how long these first seven days actually lasted, and... (full context)
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Brady has no quick answer for Drummond, but Davenport yells, objecting to the Judge, that Drummond... (full context)
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Brady says Drummond is attacking the Bible, but Drummond answers that the Bible is a good... (full context)
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Brady becomes extremely upset, as Drummond states that only Brady is allowed to determine what is... (full context)
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Davenport attempts to have this whole testimony stricken from the record, while Brady is led by a consoling Mrs. Brady away from the court—Brady tells his wife that... (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.... (full context)
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...and the Judge announces that the punishment of Cates will be, simply, a $100 fine. Brady believes this punishment is far too light, but Drummond argues that Cates will never pay... (full context)
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Brady says that he has a few remarks, but Drummond and the Judge say that these... (full context)
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Brady begins making his remarks, but quickly the radio man shuts off the “enunciator,” saying that... (full context)
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As Brady is carried out, he begins reciting one of his “inaugural speeches,” stored in memory, from... (full context)
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Cates asks Drummond, after the Brady crisis has calmed in the courtroom, what will happen to him. Cates believes he has... (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... (full context)
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Morality, Justice, and Truth Theme Icon
Open-Mindedness vs. Closed-Mindedness Theme Icon
Drummond then finds Brady’s Bible and the verse from Proverbs: “He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the... (full context)
Science vs. Religion Theme Icon
David vs. Goliath Theme Icon
Morality, Justice, and Truth Theme Icon
Open-Mindedness vs. Closed-Mindedness Theme Icon
Hornbeck believes that Drummond is being too kind to Brady, but Drummond counters that Brady was simply a man who “was looking for God too... (full context)