I adore Dead Poets Society. It is so inspirational, with the tragedy and comedy of life being woven through this film thanks to the talent of Robin Williams as John Keating.
There are so many scenes that have brilliant dialogue and speeches, but these two stand out to me most:
“Seize the day… Make your lives extraordinary”
A true pep-talk.
John Keating: They’re not that different from you, are they? Same haircuts. Full of hormones, 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, gentlemen, these boys are now fertilizing daffodils. But if you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. Go on, lean in. Listen. You hear it?… Carpe… Hear it?… Carpe. Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.
“Don’t you forget this.”
I love this scene because Keating brings this painfully shy student out of his comfort zone and shows him what he’s capable of.
John Keating: Close your eyes, close your eyes! Close ’em! Now, describe what you see.
Todd Anderson: Uh, I-I close my eyes.
Todd: Uh, and this image floats beside me.
John: A sweaty-toothed madman.
Todd: A sweaty-toothed madman with a stare that pounds my brain.
John: Oh, that’s *excellent*! Now, give him action – make him do something!
Todd: H-His hands reach out and choke me.
John: That’s it! Wonderful, wonderful!
Todd: And all the time he’s mumbling.
John: What’s he mumbling?
Todd: Mumbling truth.
John: Yeah, yes.
Todd: Truth like-like a blanket that always leaves your feet cold.
[some of the class start to laugh]
John: Forget them, forget them! Stay with the blanket. Tell me about that blanket!
Todd: Y-Y-You push it, stretch it, it’ll never be enough. You kick at it, beat it, it’ll never cover any of us. From the moment we enter crying t-to the moment we leave dying, it’ll just cover your face as you wail and cry and scream.
[long pause then class applauds]
John: Don’t you forget this.