Here are some memorable quotes by "John Keating" (portrayed by Robin Williams) in "Dead Poets Society" (1989), a film by Peter Weir.
If you know of any good ones, please do not hesitate to post them!
No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.
There is a time for daring and a time for caution, and a wise man knows which is called for.
[talking about the people in the old awards pictures] 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. [the students lean in] Listen, you hear it? [whispers in a raspy voice] - - Carpe - - hear it? - - Carpe, carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary.
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!
[after hearing "The Introduction to Poetry"] Excrement! That's what I think of Mr. J. Evans Pritchard! We're not laying pipe! We're talking about poetry. How can you describe poetry like American Bandstand? "I like Byron, I give him a 42 but I can't dance to it!"
This is a battle, a war, and the casualties could be your hearts and souls.
Language was invented for one reason, boys--to woo women--and, in that endeavor, laziness will not do.
We're not laughing at you; we're laughing near you.
Now we all have a great need for acceptance, but you must trust that your beliefs are unique, your own, even though others may think them odd or unpopular, even though the herd may go, [imitating a sheep] "that's baaaaad." Robert Frost said, "Two roads diverged in the wood and I, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference."
But only in their dreams can men be truly free. Twas always thus, and always thus will be.
Though much is taken, much abides; and though We are not now that strength which in old days Moved Earth and Heaven, that which we are, we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts, Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
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. To quote from Whitman, "O me! O life!... of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless... of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life'" Answer. That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?
...stroll down amnesia lane...
When you read, don't just consider what the author thinks, consider what you think.
"O captain, my captain". Who knows where that comes from? Not a clue? It's from a poem by Walt Whitman about Mr. Abraham Lincoln. Now in this class you can call me Mr. Keating. Or, for the slightly more daring, "O captain, my captain".
Now I want you to rip out that page. Go on, rip out the entire page. You heard me, rip it out. Rip it out! Thank you Mr. Dalton. Gentlemen, tell you what, don't just tear out that page, tear out the entire introduction. I want it gone, history. Leave nothing of it. Rip it out. Rip! Begone J. Evans Pritchard, Ph.D. Rip, shred, tear. Rip it out. I want to hear nothing but ripping of Mr.Pritchard. It's not the Bible, you're not going to go to Hell for this. Go on, make a clean tear, I want nothing left of it.
I see that look in Mr. Pitt's eye, like nineteenth century literature has nothing to do with going to business school or medical school. Right? Maybe. Mr. Hopkins, you may agree with him, thinking "Yes, we should simply study our Mr. Pritchard and learn our rhyme and meter and go quietly about the business of achieving other ambitions."
"O Titus, bring your friend hither." But if any of you have seen Mr. Marlon Brando, you know, Shakespeare can be different. "Frenns, Romans, countruhmen, lend me your eahhs." You can also imagine, maybe, John Wayne as Macbeth going, "Wayull, is this a dagger I see before me'"
"Dogs, sir? Oh, not just now. I do enjoy a good dog once in awhile, sir. You can have yourself a three-course meal from one dog. Start with your canine crudites, go to your Fido flambe for main course and for dessert, a Pekingese parfait. And you can pick your teeth with a paw."
"I sound my barbaric yawp over the rooftops of the world." W. W. Uncle Walt again. Now, for those of you who don't know, a yawp is a loud cry or yell. Now, Todd, I would like you to give us a demonstration of a barbaric "yawp." Come on. You can't yawp sitting down. Let's go. Come on. Up. You gotta get in "yawping" stance.
Don't you forget this.
Mr. Anderson! Don't think that I don't know that this assignment scares the hell out of you! You mole!
No grades at stake, gentlemen. Just take a stroll.
Mr. Pitts, taking his time. He knew he'll get there one day. Mr. Cameron, you could see him thinking, "Is this right? It might be right. It might be right. I know that. Maybe not. I don't know." Mr. Overstreet, driven by deeper force. Yes. We know that.
Phone call from God. If it had been collect, it would've been daring.
Suck the marrow out of life, but don't choke on the bone