The Mantle of the Prophet: Churchill’s Embodiment of the Prophetic Ethos

  • Andrew Bowman University of Texas - Austin


Seen everywhere from posters to coffee mugs, Winston Churchill’s words remain a source of public fascination over fifty years after his death. Through a study of the evolution of Churchill’s ethos construction in the speeches he gave before and during World War II, this article examines the link between Churchill’s continued cultural relevance and his persuasive power. Using the theory of prophetic ethos as a conceptual framework, this essay analyzes the changes in Churchill’s tone, style, and word choice between speeches given before and after he became prime minister, concluding that he adopted a prophetic rhetoric. By embodying a prophetic persona, Churchill persuaded the British public to share his vision of Britain’s eventual victory over Nazi Germany.

Author Biography

Andrew Bowman, University of Texas - Austin

Andrew Bowman graduated from the University of Texas, Austin, in May 2013 with a BA in Rhetoric and Writing, History, Government, and the Humanities. His greatest undergraduate experience was studying World War II at UT and in Europe with the Normandy Scholar Program. He currently works as a program officer for Humanities Texas and is applying to graduate programs in Rhetoric.

How to Cite
Bowman, A. (2015). The Mantle of the Prophet: Churchill’s Embodiment of the Prophetic Ethos. Young Scholars in Writing, 11, 47-54. Retrieved from