Blood, Toil, Tears, and Sweat

This study guide will help you analyse the speech “Blood, Toil, Tears, and Sweat” by Winston Churchill. We will show you examples of elements in the text that will be relevant for your analysis. In these notes, we will focus on summary, analysis, topic, speaker, audience, language, modes of persuasion, circumstances, intention and perspectives.

Presentation of the speech

Title: “Blood, Toil, Tears, and Sweat”
Speaker: Winston Churchill
Where: The House of Commons, the British Parliament
When: 13th of May, 1940, in the first year of World War II

Winston Churchill (1874-1965) was a Conservative British politician, officer, and author. He served as the British Prime Minister twice, between 1940-1945 and 1951-1955. The speech “Blood, Toil, Tears, and Sweat” was delivered a few days after he had been appointed Prime Minister for the first time, during World War II. The purpose of the speech was to ask the British Parliament to approve his newly appointed cabinet. Today, Churchill is known for leading the Britain to victory during World War II, which makes him one of the most influential figures in British history.

You can listen to the speech here.

 

Excerpt

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

Ethos

Ethos means an appeal to trust or authority, as speakers attempt to make themselves and those they allude to appear trustworthy, skilled, caring or knowledgeable.

First, Churchill appeals to the authority of the King. When he mentions the King, he does it to remind the audience of his legitimacy as Prime Minister and thus make them more likely to accept his war cabinet: “On Friday evening last I received from His Majesty the mission to form a new administration.”.

Also, by mentioning “the evident will of' Parliament and the nation” regarding the terms he respected in forming the new war cabinet and "the public interest", he presents himself as trustworthy in meeting the nations' demands and defending the British citizens' interest.

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Blood, Toil, Tears, and Sweat

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