Inherit the Wind | Study Guide

Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee

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Inherit the Wind | Characters

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Character Description
Henry Drummond Henry Drummond, considered one of the sharpest legal minds in the country, is hired by the Baltimore Herald to defend Bertram Cates. He is known for championing the larger issues at the heart of individual cases, and in this case he fights passionately for an individual's right to think. Read More
Matthew Harrison Brady Matthew Harrison Brady is a three-time presidential candidate and national political figure, once considered a hero of the "common people." His fame has diminished over time, and he has come to Hillsboro to prosecute Bertram Cates and hopefully regain some of his former glory. Read More
E.K. Hornbeck A cynical reporter from the Baltimore Herald, E.K. Hornbeck has been sent by the paper to cover the trial. He "sneers at everything, including himself," but he is firmly on the side of Bertram Cates. Read More
Bertram Cates Bertram Cates is an intelligent, idealistic high school science teacher who has been arrested for teaching Darwin's theory of the origin of species. He is the defendant in the Hillsboro trial. Read More
Rachel Brown Rachel Brown is a 22-year-old teacher and the daughter of Reverend Brown. She is confused and fearful, trying to reconcile her love for Bertram Cates, her own beliefs, and her fear of her father. Read More
Mr. Bannister One of the last jurors to be seated, Mr. Bannister knows little about the Bible or Darwin's theory.
Mrs. Blair Mrs. Blair is Howard Blair's mother.
Mrs. Brady Mrs. Sarah Brady is the wife of Matthew Harrison Brady, who calls her "Mother." She is fiercely protective of her husband.
Reverend Jeremiah Brown The Reverend Jeremiah Brown is a cold, humorless man who believes that the Bible is the literal word of God and that sinners like Cates, who question its teaching in any way, should burn in hellfire. When his daughter supports Cates, he turns on her as well.
Corkin Corkin is a Hillsboro workman who puts up a banner to celebrate the arrival of Matthew Harrison Brady. The banner reads, "Read Your Bible."
Tom Davenport Tom Davenport is the Circuit District Attorney in Hillsboro and supports Brady in prosecuting the case.
Jesse Dunlap Jesse Dunlap is one of the last potential witnesses to be questioned. His fervent support of Brady causes Drummond to dismiss him.
Elijah A self-styled holy man, Elijah sells Bibles even though he can't read them.
Harry Y. Esterbrook Henry Y. Esterbrook is a radio host who is in Hillsboro to cover the trial.
Hawker The hawker operates a wheeled hot dog stand while the crowd gathers to welcome Matthew Harrison Brady.
Howard Howard Blair is 13 and a student of Bertram Cates. He is called to testify during the trial.
Hurdy gurdy man The hurdy gurdy man is an organ grinder who is part of the crowd awaiting Matthew Harrison Brady's arrival in town.
Judge The judge in the Cates trial is out of his league in the complex case and often seems unsure of how to act.
Mrs. Krebs A member of the Hillsboro Ladies' Aid, Mrs. Krebs prepares a picnic lunch to celebrate Matthew Harrison Brady's arrival in town.
Mayor The mayor is awestruck by Matthew Harrison Brady and fawns over him when he first comes to town. Later, however, he informs the judge that it would be wise to mitigate Bertram's sentence, thereby undercutting Brady's victory.
Mrs. McClain Mrs. McClain is a Hillsboro woman who sells fans while people await Matthew Harrison Brady's arrival.
Meeker Meeker is the compassionate court bailiff who helps arrange meetings between Bertram Cates and Rachel Brown.
Melinda Melinda Loomis is a 12-year-old girl and a friend of Howard's who believes strongly in the Bible and fears evolution. She is terrified by Henry Drummond, screaming out "It's the Devil!"
Photographer The photographer takes pictures of Brady and others during the welcoming ceremony.
Reuter's man The Reuter's man is a reporter who's in town to cover the trial.
George Sillers George Sillers is one of the last two jurors to be seated. He is a hardworking man who doesn't have much time to think about religion or current events.
Timmy Timmy is a boy who announces the arrival of Matthew Harrison Brady's train.
Tommy Stebbins Tommy Stebbins was a boy in Bertram Cates's class who took an interest in science. He died while swimming, and Reverend Brown said his "soul was damned."
Storekeeper The storekeeper owns a shop opposite the courthouse. He views the trial as an opportunity for good business.
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