While there were many factors, which led to Neil's death Keating played a major role. He was Neil's inspiration and role model. It was predominantly Keating's actions that led to Neil's death. Keating held very Romantic ideals which clashed with the schools teachings and set the Dead Poet society members against the school and authority figures like Neil's father.
Keating led Neil to believe he could have the support of his parents and an acting career. Throughout the movie Keating encourages the boys to 'seize the day', and 'suck the marrow out of life. He endorses Neil's desire to act, despite the fact that it was completely against Neil's fathers' rules and the schools objectives, which, as a former student and teacher he must have known. Going to Welton, and later teaching there Keating would surely have been familiar with the pressures teachers and parents place on students to do well, go to university, and succeed in life; early in the movie, after Neil is told to drop the school paper by his father his friends say "why doesn't he let you do what you want?" and "tell him off Neil", to which Neil retorts "Oh, that's rich.
Like you guys tell your parents off, Mr. Future Lawyer and Mr. Future Banker." From these lines it is obvious that the pressure faced by Neil was wide spread in Welton and it was Keating's idealistic views that led him to believe, and in turn, Neil to believe that simply telling his father his views on the matter would instantly make everything alright. Keating should have realized that encouraging Neil would lead to a conflict with the school, or his parents.
By 'inspiring and preaching freethinking to his students Mr. Keating was asking for trouble. Keating's teachings led to...