A cinematic gem and masterpiece are what ‘Dead Poets Society’ is. The story of an English Teacher, John Keating (played by Robin Williams), who inspires his students to grasp poetry with a different perspective of genuine knowledge and emotion. Not only does Keating teach his students about literature and poetry, he also educates them about life and living it to the fullest.
Teaching in the conservative all-boys preparatory school of Welton Academy, he is expected to meet the high standards of the institution and to follow their age-old traditions. But this new English teacher chooses to reach out to his students with his unorthodox methods and encourages them to go against the status quo. He helps his students, who are heavily pressured by their parents, to break out of their shells and supports them to pursue their dreams – to seize the day.
Dead Poets Society is just one of those movies that leaves a lasting impression on your perspective of life, irrespective of where you are at in life. In arguably one of his best roles in film, Robin Williams delivers some of the most memorable and inspiring quotes through the character of John Keating in this classic, unforgettable movie.
Related: Robin Williams did indeed live an extraordinary life. From great men like himself, you can expect a lot of words of wisdom and understanding. Here are 12 Robin Williams Quotes on Life, Money, Love, Comedy, Forgiveness, Loneliness, and More.
Here are 12 quotes from Dead Poets Society that will encourage you to seize the day:
1. “Carpe, carpe. Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.”
This is probably the main ‘punchline’ of the whole movie. Living extraordinary lives is worth the effort it takes to do so.
2. “Sucking the marrow out of life doesn’t mean choking on the bone.”
With a subtle play on the words of Henry David Thoreau, John Keating reminds his students that living life to the fullest doesn’t mean getting out of hand and losing pace in life.
3. “‘O Captain, my Captain.’ Who knows where that comes from? Anybody? Not a clue? It’s from a poem by Walt Whitman about Mr. Abraham Lincoln. Now in this class you can either call me Mr. Keating, or if you’re slightly more daring, O Captain, my Captain.”
Keating prefers to be called ‘O Captain, My Captain’ instead of a ‘Sir’ to build a special bond with his students, one of his many unorthodox approaches towards teaching.
4. “Boys, 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!”
For those that feel like they’ve been silenced by the pressures of this world, it’s time to find your voice and speak up for yourself.
5. “When you read, don’t just consider what the author thinks, consider what you think.”
Forming original opinions and thoughts is what sets us apart from those who choose to mindlessly follow the crowd.
6. “But only in their dreams can man be truly free. ‘Twas always thus, and always thus will be.”
When Mr. McAllister says, “Show me the heart unfettered by foolish dreams and I’ll show you a happy man,” this is Keating’s reply. The teacher guesses Keating is quoting Tennyson, but these words are his very own.
7. “Just when you think you know something, you have to look at it in another way. Even though it may seem silly or wrong, you must try.”
The value of new perspectives is under appreciated by closed minded people. Open your mind to perceive things from new perspectives.
8. “There’s a time for daring and there’s a time for caution, and a wise man understands which is called for.”
Keating was a great example of someone who dared to break the rules. After all, a slight change is what makes all the difference.