New Year's is usually a time of resolutions. A time to think about all
those things you wanted to do, but didn't get around to doing.
A time to SEIZE THE DAY! In other, words... don't hold back,
make the most of the day, of the year... of Life!
So on this occasion, we are posting one of the most memorable scenes in
movie history from the film DEAD POETS' SOCIETY with Robin Williams
that deals precisely with resolutions and seizing the day.
Below, we transcribed this part of the original movie
script written by Tom Shulman and directed by
Peter Weir. Enjoy!
INT. ENGLISH CLASSROOM - DAY
The junior students--Todd, Neil, Knox, Charlie, Cameron,
Meeks and some of the others we've seen--enter. They are
loaded down with books and look weary. Sitting in the front
of the room, staring out the window is JOHN KEATING, the
teacher we glimpsed earlier. He wears a collared shirt, tie,
The boys take seats and settle in. Keating stares out the
window a long time. The students start to shuffle
uncomfortably. Finally Keating stands, picks up a yardstick,
and begins slowly strolling the aisles. He stops and stares
into the face of one of the boys.
(to the blushing boy)
Don't be embarrassed.
He moves off, then stops in front of Charlie Dalton.
(as if discovering
something known only to
(he moves to Todd Anderson)
(he moves to Neil Perry)
Keating slaps his free hand with the yardstick, then strides
to the front of the room.
Nimble young minds!
He steps up onto the desk, turns and faces the class.
Oh Captain, My Captain. Who knows where
No one raises a hand.
It was written by a poet named Walt
Whitman about Mr. Abraham Lincoln. In
this class you may refer to me as either
Mr. Keating, or Oh Captain, My Captain.
Keating steps down and starts. strolling the aisles.
So that I become the source of as few
rumors as possible, let me tell you that
yes, I was a student at this institution
many moons ago, and no, at that time I
did not possess this charismatic
personality. However, should you choose
to emulate my manner, it can only help
your grade. Pick up a textbook from the
back, gentlemen, and let's retire to the
He steps off the desk and walks out. The students sit, not
sure what to do, then realize they are to follow him. They
quickly gather their books, pick up texts, and follow.
INT. THE WELTON OAK PANELED HONOR ROOM - DAY
This is the room where the boys waited earlier. The walls
are lined with class pictures: dating back into the 1800s.
School trophies of every description fill trophy cases and
shelves. Keating leads the students in, then faces the class.
(Keating looks at his roll)
Pitts. An unfortunate name. Stand up,
Open your text, Pitts, to page forty and read for us the
first stanza of the poem.
Pitts looks through his book. He finds the poem.
To The Virgins to Make Much Of Time?
That's the one.
Giggles in the class. Pitts reads.
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may
Old time is still a flying
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may. The
Latin term for that sentiment is "Carpe
Diem." Anyone know what that means?
Carpe Diem... seize the day.
Very good, Mr._?
Seize the day while you're young, see
that you make use of your time. Why does
the poet write these lines?
Because he's in a hurry?
Because we're food for worms, lads!
Because we're only going to experience a
limited number of springs, summers, and
falls. One day, hard as it is to
believe, each and every one of us is
going to stop breathing, turn cold, and
die! Stand up and peruse the faces of
the boys who attended this school sixty
or seventy years ago. Don't be timid, go
look at them.
The boys get up. Todd, Neil, Knox, Meeks, etc. go over to
the class pictures that line the honor room walls.
ANGLES ON VARIOUS PICTURES ON THE WALLS. Faces of young men
stare at us from out of the past.
They're not that different than any of
you, are they? There's hope in their
eyes, just like in yours. They believe
themselves destined for wonderful things,
just like many of you. Well, where are
those smiles now, boys? What of that
THE BOYS are staring at the pictures, sobered by what Keating
Did most of them not wait until it was
too late before making their lives into
even one iota of what they were capable?
In chasing the almighty deity of success
did they not squander their boyhood
dreams? Most of those gentlemen are
fertilizing daffodils! However, if you
get very close, boys, you can hear them
whisper. Go ahead, lean in. near it?
'Carpe Diem, lads. Seize the day. Make
your lives extraordinary. -
Todd, Neil, Knox, Charlie, Cameron,
Meeks, Pitts all stare into the pictures
on the wall. All are lost in thought.
EXT. THE WELTON CAMPUS - DAY
The class files out of the honor room. Todd, Neil, Knox,
Charlie, Cameron, Necks, and Pitts walk together, books in
hand. All thinking about what just happened in class.
Spooky if you ask me.
You think he'll test us on that stuff?
Oh come on, Cameron, don't you get
A Happy, Healthy and Safe New Year's from the PLS English Users Team!!!