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Their Finest Hour

This study guide will help you analyze Winston Churchill's speech “Their Finest Hour”. In addition to help for your analysis, you can find a summary of the text and ideas for putting it into perspective.

Presentation of the text

Title: “Their Finest Hour” (1940)
Sender: Winston Churchill
Genre: Speech

Winston Churchill (1874-1965) was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945, and from 1951 to 1955. The speech “Their Finest Hour” was delivered in June 1940 to the House of Commons of the United Kingdom. 

Extract

Below, you can read an extract from our study guide:

Ethos 

Churchill relies on ethos when he appeals to his authority as Prime Minister. He appears trustworthy and knowledgeable, but also humble, like the following example shows: “Let each man search his conscience and search his speeches. I frequently search mine” (ll. 35-36). He therefore acknowledges that he does not consider himself perfect and is ready to admit to his mistakes.

Moreover, Churchill implies that his extensive knowledge has helped him predict the outcome of the Battle of France:

The disastrous military events which have happened during the past fortnight have not come to me with any sense of surprise. Indeed, I indicated a fortnight ago as clearly as I could to the House that the worst possibilities were open. (ll. 59-62)

This evidence gives Churchill even more credibility and makes the public acknowledge his position, as he seems to be able to think strategically and has experience in military matters. 

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Their Finest Hour

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