Metaphors Used to Communicate the Coronavirus State of Emergency in the United Kingdom and Spain: A Contrastive Analysis


  • Eliecer Crespo-Fernández



political rhetoric, critical discourse studies, critical metaphor analysis, cognitive theory, coronavirus pandemic


Since it emerged in China at the beginning of 2020, the COVID-19 virus has spread to almost every country in the world. In response to the health and economic crisis triggered by the pandemic, political legislators were forced to declare a state of national emergency in an effort to stem the spread of the coronavirus. Following a critical discourse approach to metaphor analysis, this study examines the metaphors employed by the British and Spanish Prime Ministers in their declarations of the state of emergency. The results support the view that metaphor is a double-edged sword in times of crisis: it is not only used to help people to face the coronavirus pandemic, to instil courage and hope; it also serves as a strategy of positive self-presentation whereby political actors try hard to avoid criticism and gain the approval of public opinion.


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ARTICLES: Language and linguistics