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Carpe Diem In Dead Poets Society

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¨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¨. In movie Dead Poet Society it depicticates a great story and point of view of teens in a prestigious academy and they have to find themselves while in the strict and strenuous academy. The story shows how important it is to find yourself and be who you want to be not which is one of a romanticism themes and also includes more.

In the movie the character Neil Perry is shown to be in love with acting but burdened from a father who does not support his dreams of becoming an actor which shows the theme of being an outsider . He then is encouraged to ¨Seize the day¨ which encourages him to try put for a play, he says ¨For the first time in my whole life, I know what I want to do…and for the first time, I’m going to do it! Whether my father wants me to or not. Carpe diem!¨. He is an example of the romanticism theme of representative of special worth that is excluded by norms like also shown in Thoreau’s ‘Civil Disobedience’. In the passage Thoreau is states how he is against the united states government for starting the mexican-american war so he refuses to pay for his taxes which would fund the war, resulting in him being detained and writing his lecture. He says “I was not born to be forced. I will breathe after my own fashion. Let us see who is the strongest.” which is talking about how he will do what he believes is right and not be forced to do just because it’s enforced greatly. These great people were shown as outsider who stick to their morals and fight for their own personal beliefs.

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John Keating is a teacher at Welton academy and one that has unorthodox teaching compared to the rest of the teachers, he shows the romanticism theme of intuition. He believes that his students have a great potential to become something extraordinary in the world and that they are capable of intuition to guide themselves by saying ¨Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.¨ Mr. Keating does repeat the phrase ¨carpe diem¨ which only intensify the phrase causing some of the boys to act upon this and do things that were unthinkable to them before. The teachings of Mr. Keating are what bring Niel to going against his father’s norms and rules to become himself. In ‘Walden,’ Thoreau challenges to question ‘common sense’ and find a deeper, more intuitive sense of knowledge. Thoreau says this so people can be better than the average person and think differently. This is also what Mr. Keating is trying to get across to his students with his unorthodox teaching skills. Thoreau and Mr. Keating are examples of this romantic theme and being great teachers.

Knox Overstreet is also a student at Welton, who is a smart and exceptional but also an examples of the romanticism theme, emotionalism. Knox meets the ¨love of his life¨ at a dinner and he makes it his goal to get the girl of his dreams, he shows great passion and love towards her. When Knox is talking about Cris, the girl he’s in love with, he said “The heavens made a girl named Chris with hair and skin of gold to touch her would be paradise.” The love he has for her is priority over logic and facts because he still tries to get with her even though she has a boyfriend. Thoreau shows this also with his own exploration of his capabilities and his search for spiritual understanding. He leaves his old life to a life with practical solitude, he said “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived”. Thoreau said this to get his readers to understand his passion of what he didn’t from the pound to see what he needed from life. They were men you believed in intense emotion and acted upon them.

Finally The Dead Poets Society shows great romanticism is different ways throughout their story. The story also shows different ways you can dippicticate the themes of romanticism in modern day life.

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Carpe Diem In Dead Poets Society. (2022, February 21). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 7, 2022, from
“Carpe Diem In Dead Poets Society.” Edubirdie, 21 Feb. 2022,
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Carpe Diem In Dead Poets Society [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 21 [cited 2022 Dec 7]. Available from:
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