We Shall Fight on the Beaches


This study guide will help you analyse the speech “We Shall Fight on the Beaches” by Winston Churchill. You can also find a summary of the text.

Presentation of the text

Title: “We Shall Fight on the Beaches” (4th of June, 1940)
Speaker: Winston Churchill
Genre: Speech

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill (1874 –1965) was a British politician who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and from 1951 to 1955. Churchill delivered the “We Shall Fight on the Beaches” speech in front of the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, shortly after British and French troops were successfully evacuated from Dunkirk, France, during World War II.

You can listen to the speech here.


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

Metaphors, similes, and personification

Churchill uses metaphors to enhance his message and make it more dramatic. For example, the metaphor “the storm of war” emphasises the difficulties of war by creating a dramatic effect.

The strength of the German forces and their destructive power are conveyed through a simile: “The German eruption swept like a sharp scythe around the right and rear of the Armies of the north”.

When Churchill speaks about the Dunkirk evacuation, he uses personification to convey the danger that the Allied forces faced. He, therefore, states that they were carried “out of the jaws of death and shame”.

Through personification, Churchill also conveys his appeal to unity. For example, he states: “and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated”. Here, instead of talking about the defeat of the British people, Churchill personifies the Island, emphasising the fact that the nation and its people are one.

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We Shall Fight on the Beaches

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  • 08/21/2021