Responsible Teachings: Mr. Keatings teachings of 'carpe diem' to the students in The Dead Poets Society.

Essay by j4everHigh School, 11th gradeA, March 2003

download word file, 3 pages 3.0

Responsible Teaching

In the film Dead Poet's Society, directed by Peter Weir, a teacher inspires his students to "seize the day". The students respond to Mr. Keating, the teacher, by restarting his club. The club, Dead Poet's Society, is a place where the students gather late at night and recite poetry. The students become more confident and gain the courage to do things that they normally would not do. The main character, Neil Perry, uses the phrase "carpe diem" as an excuse to go against his father's wishes and pursue acting. The story culminates in a series of events where Mr. Perry disapproves of Neil's acting and ultimately leads to Neil's suicide. Mr. Keating's teachings of "carpe diem" help the students to transcend and evolve negatively and positively.

There are several characters in the film that evolve. One of the most interesting characters is Todd Anderson. Todd is a quite student that is afraid to stand up and do something in front of people.

The exposure to the cave life of the students of the Dead Poet's Society and Mr. Keating's ability to bring out Todd's poetic side in class help Todd come out of his "shell". After the death of Neil Perry and Mr. Keating's firing, Todd crawls back into his "shell" when he faces his parents. Todd's breakthrough in the film is at the very end when he stands on his desk, faces his ex-teacher (Mr. Keating), and says "Oh captain, my captain". At this point Todd completely breaks his "shell" and realizes who he is.

The main character, Neil Perry, shows that he does not fully understand Mr. Keating's teachings. Neil kills himself because he does not see any other way to escape the pressure that his father places upon him. He uses...