Dead Poets Society…one of my favorite movies of all time. It’s more than just a movie. Honestly, it’s expressive of a truly pivotal time in a young person’s life…adolescence.
Dead Poets Society is smart, compelling, and inspiring. This coming of age story marks the growing pains in the lives of a handful of young, impressionable men. Together they embark with their devoted English teacher on a journey to discover the meaning in life, triumph, love, heartache, tribulations, failure and death.
You see it within the screenplay writing and the use of poetry from Thoreau to Tennyson, Shakespeare to Byron, Frost to Whitman…
You see it in the morals, lessons, and advice in the film. Their lives and the lives of real people whom have come before us, can teach us something valuable. ”They’re not that different from you, are they?…just like you. Invincible, just like you feel. The world is their oyster. They believe they’re destined for great things, just like many of you, their eyes are full of hope, just like you. Did they wait until it was too late to make from their lives even one iota of what they were capable? Because, you see, they are now fertilizing daffodils. But if you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you.”
The film is passionate, with a unique style and a touch of sentimentality.
Dead Poets Society tells us…
“No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.”
“Carpe diem, seize the day, make your lives extraordinary.”
“There’s a time for daring and there’s a time for caution, and a wise man understands which is called for.”
“I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life. To put to rout all that was not life; and not, when I had come to die, discover that I had not lived.” (Henry David Thoreau) “…Sucking the marrow out of life doesn’t mean choking on the bone.”
“Show me the heart unfettered by foolish dreams and I’ll show you a happy man. But only in their dreams can men be truly free. ‘Twas always thus, and always thus will be.”
“You must strive to find your own voice. Because the longer you wait to begin, the less likely you are to find it at all. Thoreau said, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.” Don’t be resigned to that. Break out!”
“Now we all have a great need for acceptance, but you must trust that your beliefs are unique, your own, even though others may think them odd or unpopular…Robert Frost said, “Two roads diverged in the wood and I, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”“
“Don’t just walk off the edge like lemmings! Look around you!”
“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, “O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?” Answer. That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?”
The film emphasizes that sometimes you must live daring, and stand up for your beliefs…for if we stand up “we must constantly look at things in a different way.”
“O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead…
My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won…”