O Captain My Captain

A reflective tribute to Robin Williams & the Dead Poets Society movie.

May 21, 2018 - 2 minute read -

Professor Keating Standing on Desk

Reflections on Dead Poet’s Society

Among my top 5 favorite movies of all time is the Dead Poet’s Society. The movie is about an English teacher, John Keating (Robin Williams), who uses his unconvential teaching style to teach his students how to break out of their comfort-zone, overcome self-imposed limiting beliefs and follow their dreams.

The setting of the movie takes place at a prestigious all-boys prepatory school that’s known for it’s high standards and traditions. Throughout the movie, you witness the enourmous amount of pressure these students endure through to follow in the footsteps of their parents or the path most of society would have them believe is the prestigious and successful one.

I watched this movie during my first year in community college. I could definetely relate to the students in the movie, who at that stage in their lives may have felt like underdogs like I did, with so much to prove to the world.

John Keating, the English professor in the movie, reminds me of a psychology professor I had my senior year in highschool. In this class we did we did things in unconventional ways. We had free flowing group discussions, we meditated, we moved our desks in circles and sat in the middle of the room on the ground when sharing stories. At first, everyone in my class was shy, just as the students in the movie, however over time we all began sharing our personal stories without reservation. We cried together, we shared our frustrations, hardships, failures, insecurities, our beliefs , dreams and aspirations. It was one of the most beautiful environments I’ve been a part of.

If you have not had the chance to watch this movie, I highly recommend it.

I was tempted to create a video playlist of all of my favorite scenes, but I didn’t want to spoil the movie for anyone who hasn’t seen it. Here is just one of my favorite scenes in the movie:

Favorite Quotes from Dead Poets Society:

  • “You must strive to find your own voice because the longer you wait to begin, the less likely you are going to find it at all.”

  • “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.”

  • “Now, we all have a great need for acceptance, but you must trust that your beliefs are unique and your own, even though others may think them odd or unpopular.

  • “Now when you read, don’t just consider what the author thinks. Consider what you think.”