Churchill knew his Shakespeare and had a near-photographic memory. Darrell Holley’s Churchill’s Literary Allusions tells us he alludes to Shakespeare more than any other English author. King John, Richard III and Hamlet are his most frequent references. Henry V also moved and inspired him. He also closely read Richard II, generally accepting Shakespeare’s portrayal of his cruelty and vindictiveness.
In his book Churchill's Literary Allusions, Darrell Holley writes: "There is no English author whom Churchill alludes to as often as to William Shakespeare. Both by formal quotations, some quite lengthy, and by well-known phrases almost hidden in his text, Churchill makes allusion to many of Shakespeare's plays."