The soldier's humanity — English

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The soldier's humanity

Soldiers ! Don't give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you and enslave you ; who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel ! Who drill you, diet you, treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder !

Don't give yourselves to these unnatural men - machine men with machine minds and machine hearts ! You are not machines! You are not cattle !

You are men! You have a love of humanity in your hearts !

  • Source : Charlie Chaplin, final speech, film "The Great Dictator" (excerpt)
  • Publication date : 1940
  • Topics : Love , Ethics , War , Nonviolence , Humanization
  • Commentary :

    Charlie Chaplin decided to make a parody film on Hitler already in 1938, the year the German dictator took over Austria by Anschluss and one year before he attacked Belgium, France and the UK. As no Movie producer was willing to take the risk of losing the lucrative German film market, Chaplin decided to produce it himself. He was 51 at the time. This was his first film with speech and it ends with the well-known inspiring speech to the world of which this quote is part, making it one of the greatest films of all times, combining immense humour and immense gravitas at the same time.

    The speech is excellent reflective material for secondary school students, while also bringing humour into the classroom. It is translated into many languages and can thus be used by language teachers to perfect the language of their choice. The video of the speech inside the film is available on the Charlie Chaplin website and is dubbed in many languages.The original film excerpt with Chaplin's voice is particularly useful for hearing beautifully spoken English while watching Chaplin declaim it.

    A few other quotes of the speech are on this website.


One of the greatest and most meaningful film creators in the history of cinema.