University of Oulu

A rhetorical analysis of Winston Churchill’s speech : we shall fight on the beaches

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Author: Puputti, Heidi1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Humanities, English Philology
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.4 MB)
Pages: 35
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : H. Puputti, 2019
Publish Date: 2019-09-18
Thesis type: Bachelor's thesis


The aim of this paper is to provide a thorough analysis of Winston Churchill’s speech, We shall fight on the beaches, which he gave to the British House of Commons on June 4th, 1940, during the turmoil of the Second World War, as he was being pressured to surrender his nation to the enemy Germany’s demands. Britain at that time was surrounded by an aura of imminent defeat. This paper shall consider the elements which made the speech so effective, influential and memorable that Churchill was able to channel his steadfastness to the British people, inspire his country to combat the Nazi threat and shift the course of the war in the Allies’ favour. The analysis is conducted on the original version of the speech provided by the Chartwell Trust to the International Churchill Society’s website, and shall be carried out through the close examination of various rhetorical devices discussed by Farnsworth in Farnsworth’s Classical English Rhetoric and Aristotle’s three rhetorical appeals described by Baker in Aristotle’s three modes of persuasion.

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Copyright information: © Heidi Puputti, 2019. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.