The History Boys


Alan Bennett

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Headmaster Character Analysis

The Headmaster of the grammar school where the action of the play takes place, his real name is Felix Armstrong. He is very concerned with sending the boys to Oxford and Cambridge in order to raise the school’s profile. He dislikes Hector’s scattered teaching style, and hires Irwin to make the boys more competitive university applicants. He also sexually harasses his secretary, Fiona—and Dakin uses this fact as leverage against him after the Headmaster tries to force Hector to leave the school.

Headmaster Quotes in The History Boys

The The History Boys quotes below are all either spoken by Headmaster or refer to Headmaster. 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:
The Purpose of Education Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Farrar, Strauss and Giroux edition of The History Boys published in 2006.
Act 1 Quotes

HECTOR: The transmission of knowledge is in itself an erotic act. In the Renaissance…
HEADMASTER: Fuck the Renaissance. And fuck literature and Plato and Michaelangelo and Oscar Wilde and all the other shrunken violets you people line up. This is a school and it isn’t normal.

Related Characters: Hector (speaker), Headmaster (speaker)
Page Number: 53
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 2 Quotes

Shall I tell you what is wrong with Hector as a teacher? It isn’t that he doesn’t produce results. He does. But they are unpredictable and unquantifiable and in the current educational climate that is no use.

Related Characters: Headmaster (speaker), Hector, Mrs. Lintott
Page Number: 67
Explanation and Analysis:
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