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