Dead Poets Society (1989) Script

Now, remember, keep your shoulders back.

Okay, put your arm around your brother. That's it.

Right, and freeze.

Okay, one more.

Now, just to review, you're going to follow along the procession until you get to the headmaster.

And at that point, he will indicate to you to light the candles of the boys.

All right. All right, boys, let's settle down.

Banners up.

Ladies and gentlemen, boys, the light of knowledge.

One hundred years ago, in 1859, 41 boys sat in this room and were asked the same question that now greets you at the start of each semester.

Gentlemen, what are the four pillars?

Tradition, honor, discipline, excellence.

In her first year, Welton Academy graduated five students.

Last year, we graduated 51.

And more than 75 percent of those went on to the Ivy League.

This kind of accomplishment is the result of fervent dedication to the principles taught here.

This is why you parents have been sending us your sons.

This is why we are the best preparatory school in the United States.

As you know, our beloved Mr. Portius of the English Department retired last term.

You will have the opportunity later to meet his replacement, Mr. John Keating, himself an honors graduate of this school.

And who, for the past several years, has been teaching at the highly regarded Chester School in London.

Richard, you forgot your bag. Hi, Charlie. Hey, how you doing?

Don't worry, I've got your club assignment.

I'm glad you could come by.

Thrilling ceremony as usual, Dr. Nolan. You've been away too long.

Hello, Dr. Nolan. How've you been?

This is our youngest, Todd. Mr. Anderson.

You have some big shoes to fill, young man.

Your brother was one of our finest.

Thank you.

Lovely ceremony. Thank you. I'm so glad you liked it.

Gale. John.

Good to see you again.

Hello, Mr. Nolan. Neil.

We expect great things from you this year.

Thank you, sir. Well, he won't disappoint us.

Right, Neil? I'll do my best, sir.

Come on, son. No tears, now. Chin up. Chin up.

I don't want to go here. I love you.

I'll walk you over.

Do your lessons.

Hey. I hear we're gonna be roommates.

I'm Neil Perry. I'm Todd Anderson.

Why'd you leave Balincrest? My brother went here.

Oh, so you're that Anderson.

Well, this is in case of his sinuses.

And, oh, if he can't swallow, you give him one of these.

And if he has trouble breathing, you can give him some of those.

Fine, yes. Ooh.

Did you remember your vaporizer? Yeah, it's in my room.

Hey, how's it going, Neil? Hey, Knox.

Neil. Study group tonight? Yeah, sure.

Business as usual, huh?

Hey, I heard you got the new kid. Looks like a stiff. Ha, ha.


Listen, don't mind Cameron.

He's born with his foot in his mouth. You know what I mean?

Rumor has it you did summer school.

Yep. Chemistry. My father thought I should get ahead.

How was your summer, Slick? Keen.

Meeks, door, closed. Yes, sir.

Gentlemen, what are the four pillars?

Travesty, horror, decadence, excrement.

Okay. Study group.

Meeks aced Latin, I didn't quite flunk English.

So if you want, we got our study group.

Sure, Cameron asked me too. Anyone mind including him?

What's his specialty, bootlicking?

He's your roommate. That's not my fault.

Uh, I'm sorry. My name is Steven Meeks. Oh, this is Todd Anderson.

Nice to meet you. Nice to meet you.

Charlie Dalton.

I'm Knox Overstreet. Todd's brother was Jeffrey Anderson.

Oh, yeah, sure. Well.

Valedictorian. National Merit scholar.

Oh, well. Welcome to Hell-ton.

It's every bit as tough as they say, unless you're a genius like Meeks.

He flatters me. That's why I help him with Latin.

And English, and trig.

It's open.

Father, I thought you'd gone.

Mr. Perry, sir. Keep your seats, fellas.

Neil, I've just spoken to Mr. Nolan.

I think that you're taking too many extracurricular activities this semester, and I've decided that you should drop the school annual.

But I'm the assistant editor this year. Well, I'm sorry, Neil.

But, father, I can't. It wouldn't be fair.

Fellas, could you excuse us for a moment?

Don't you ever dispute me in public. Father, I wasn't...

After you've finished medical school and you're on your own, then you can do as you damn well please, but until then, you do as I tell you.

That clear? Yes, sir, I'm sorry.

Ahem. You know how much this means to your mother, don't you?

Yes, sir.

You know me, always taking on too much.

Well, that's my boy.

Now, listen, you need anything, you let us know, huh?

Yes, sir.

Why doesn't he let you do what you want?

Yeah, Neil. Tell him off. It couldn't get any worse.

Oh, that's rich. Like you guys tell your parents off?

Mr. Future-Lawyer and Mr. Future-Banker.

Okay, so I don't like it any more than you do.

Don't tell me how to talk to my father. You guys are the same.

All right, all right. Jesus.

What are you gonna do? What I have to do.

Drop the annual.

I wouldn't lose too much sleep over it.

It's just a bunch of jerks trying to impress Nolan.

I don't care. I don't give a damn about any of it.

Well, uh, Latin? Eight o'clock in my room?

Yes. Sounds good.

Todd, you're welcome to join us. Yeah, come along, pal.


McAllister: Slow down, boys.

Slow down, you horrible phalanx of pubescence.

Pick three laboratory experiments from the project list and report on them every five weeks.

The first 20 questions at the end of Chapter 1 are due tomorrow.

Again, please.

Your study of trigonometry requires absolute precision.

Anyone failing to turn in any homework assignment will be penalized one point off their final grade.

Let me urge you now not to test me on this point.

Hey, Spaz. Spaz.

Brain damage. Shh.

Well, come on.

Is he kidding? He's gotta be.

Let's go. Where?

Let's go, guys.

Okay, go.

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 either call me Mr. Keating, or if you're slightly more daring, O Captain, My Captain.

Now, let me dispel a few rumors so they don't fester into facts.

Yes, I too attended Hell-ton and survived.

And no, at that time, I was not the mental giant you see before you.

I was the intellectual equivalent of a 98-pound weakling.

I would go to the beach and people would kick copies of Byron in my face.

Now, Mr. Pitts.

That's a rather unfortunate name. Mr. Pitts, where are you?

Mr. Pitts, will you open your hymnal to page 542?

Read the first stanza of the poem you find there.

"To the Virgins, To Make Much of Time"?

Yes, that's the one.

Somewhat appropriate, isn't it?

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may Old time is still a-flying:

And this same flower that smiles to-day To-morrow will be dying.

Thank you, Mr. Pitts.

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may The Latin term for that sentiment is carpe diem.

Now, who knows what that means?

Carpe diem, that's "seize the day."

Very good, Mr.? Meeks.

Meeks. Another unusual name.

Seize the day.

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may Why does the writer use these lines? Because he's in a hurry.

No. Ding.

Thanks for playing anyway.

Because we are food for worms, lads.

Because, believe it or not, each and every one of us in this room is one day going to stop breathing, turn cold and die.

I would like you to step forward over here and peruse some of the faces from the past.

You've walked past them many times, but I don't think you've really looked at them.

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?


Hear it?


Carpe diem.

Seize the day, boys.

Make your lives extraordinary.

That was weird. But different.

Spooky, if you ask me.

Think he'll test us on that stuff?

Oh, come on, Cameron. Don't you get anything?

What? What?

Let's go, boys. Hustle up in here. That means you, Dalton.

Who's up for a trig study group tonight?

Sure. Me.

What? I can't make it, guys.

I have to have dinner at the Danburrys' house tonight.

The Danburrys? Who are the Danburrys?

Big alums. How'd you swing that?

Friends of my dad's. They're probably in their 90s or something.

Sounds great, doesn't it?

Anything's better than Hell-ton hash, Knox.

I'll second that. Yeah, we'll see.

Hey. Coming to the study group tonight?

Uh, no. No, I've got some history I want to do.

Suit yourself.

Ready, Overstreet?

Ready to go, sir.

Chet, can you get that?

Can't, Mom. I'll get it.

Can I help you?

Hi. Knox Overstreet. Uh...

Dr. Hager. Hi.

This is the Danburrys', right? Are you here to see Chet?

Mrs. Danburry? No.

Sorry. Thank you, Chris. I'm Mrs. Danburry.

You must be Knox. Yes.

Back by 9? Please, come on in.

Chris, come on. What are you doing?

Chet, I'm coming. Knox.

How are you? Joe Danburry. Nice to meet you, sir.

Well, he's the spitting image of his father, isn't he?

How is he? Come on in. Chris.

He's great. He just did a big case for GM.

I know where you're headed. I'm coming.

Like father, like son, huh?

Yes. Bishop to queen six.

All right, I think that's good. Another game?

Just replace these numbers here with X... For X and Y.

Of course. Of course, so, what's the problem?

Do you think I can get in there? You've been hogging it all day.

How was dinner?


How was dinner?


Awful. Why? What happened?

Tonight I met the most beautiful girl I have ever seen in my entire life.

Are you crazy? What's wrong with that?

She's practically engaged.

To Chet Danburry.

The guy could eat a football. Too bad.

Too bad? It's worse than too bad, Pitts, it's a tragedy.

A girl this beautiful in love with such a jerk.

All the good ones go for jerks, you know that.

Yeah, forget her. Open your trig book and try and figure out Problem 5.

I can't just forget her, Cameron. And I certainly can't think about trig.

We got it. Turn that up.

All right, gentlemen. Five minutes.

Let's go. Did you see her naked?

Very funny, Dalton.

That wouldn't be a radio in your lap, would it, Mr. Pitts?

No, sir. Science experiment.


Gentlemen, open your texts to Page 21 of the introduction.

Mr. Perry, will you read the opening paragraph of the preface, entitled "Understanding Poetry"?

"Understanding Poetry, by Dr. J. Evans Pritchard, Ph.D.

To fully understand poetry, we must first be fluent with its meter, rhyme and figures of speech, then ask two questions.

One: How artfully has the objective of the poem been rendered?

And two: How important is that objective?

Question one rates the poem's perfection.

Question two rates its importance.

And once these questions have been answered, determining the poem's greatness becomes a relatively simple matter.

If the poem's score for perfection is plotted on the horizontal of a graph, and its importance is plotted on the vertical, then calculating the total area of the poem yields the measure of its greatness.

A sonnet by Byron might score high on the vertical, but only average on the horizontal.

A Shakespearean sonnet, on the other hand, would score high both horizontally and vertically, yielding a massive total area, thereby revealing the poem to be truly great.

As you proceed through the poetry in this book, practice this rating method.

As your ability to evaluate poems in this manner grows, so will your enjoyment and understanding of poetry."


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."

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.

Go on. Rip it out.

Thank you, Mr. Dalton.

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.

Be gone, J. Evans Pritchard, Ph.D.

Rip, shred, tear. Rip it out.

I want to hear nothing but ripping of Mr. Pritchard.

We'll perforate it, put it on a roll.

It's not the Bible. You're not gonna go to hell for this.

Go on. Make a clean tear. I want nothing left of it.

We shouldn't be doing this. Rip, rip, rip.

Rip it out. Rip.

Rip, rip.


Rip it out.

What the hell is going on here?

I don't hear enough rips.

Mr. Keating. Mr. McAllister.

I'm sorry. I didn't know you were here.

I am.

Ah. So you are.

Excuse me.

Keep ripping, gentlemen.

This is a battle, a war.

And the casualties could be your hearts and souls.

Thank you, Mr. Dalton.

Armies of academics going forward measuring poetry.

No. We'll not have that here. No more of Mr. J. Evans Pritchard.

Now, in my class, you will learn to think for yourselves again.

You will learn to savor words and language.

No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.

Now, I see that look in Mr. Pitts' eye, like 19th-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."

I have a little secret for you. Huddle up.

Huddle up.

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?


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?

For what we are about to receive, may the Lord make us truly grateful.


Quite an interesting class you gave today, Mr. Keating.

Sorry if I shocked you, Mr. McAllister.

There's no need to apologize. It was very fascinating.

Misguided though it was. You think so?

You take a big risk by encouraging them to become artists, John.

When they realize that they're not Rembrandts, Shakespeares or Mozarts, they'll hate you for it.

We're not talking artists, George, we're talking free thinkers.

Free thinkers at 17?

Funny, I never pegged you as a cynic.

Not a cynic.

A realist.

Show me the heart Unfettered by foolish dreams And I'll show you a happy man.

But only in their dreams Can men be truly free

'Twas always thus And always thus will be.

Tennyson? No, Keating.

Hey, I found his senior annual in the library.

Listen to this: Captain of the soccer team, editor of the school annual, Cambridge bound, thigh man, and the Dead Poets Society.

"Man most likely to do anything."

Thigh man. Mr. K was a hell-raiser.

What's the Dead Poets Society? Is there a picture?

Nothing, no other mention of it. That boy there, see me after lunch.

Mr. Keating.

Mr. Keating.


Say something.

O Captain, My Captain?


We were just looking in your old annual.

Oh, my God.

No, that's not me.

Stanley "The Tool" Wilson.

God. What was the Dead Poets Society?

I doubt the present administration would look too favorably upon that.

Why? What was it?

Gentlemen, can you keep a secret?


The Dead Poets were dedicated to sucking the marrow out of life.

That's a phrase from Thoreau we would invoke at the beginning of every meeting.

See, we would gather at the old Indian cave and take turns reading from Thoreau, Whitman, Shelley, the biggies.

Even some of our own verse.

And in the enchantment of the moment, we'd let poetry work its magic.

You mean it was a bunch of guys sitting around reading poetry?

No, Mr. Overstreet, it wasn't just guys.

We weren't a Greek organization, we were romantics.

And we didn't just read poetry, we let it drip from our tongues like honey.

Spirits soared, women swooned, and gods were created, gentlemen.

Not a bad way to spend an evening, eh?

Thank you, Mr. Perry, for this stroll down amnesia lane.

Burn that. Especially my picture.

Dead Poets Society. What?

I say we go tonight.

Tonight? Wait a minute.

Everybody in? Where's this cave he's talking about?

It's beyond the stream. I know where it is.

That's miles.

Sounds boring to me. Don't go.

You know how many demerits we're talking?

So don't come, please.

Look, all I'm saying is that we have to be careful.

We can't get caught. No shit, Sherlock.

You boys there, hurry up.

All right. Who's in?

Come on, Neil, Hager's there... Forget Hager. No.

Who's in?

I'm in.

I'm warning you. Move.

Me too. I don't know, Neil.

What? Pitts.

Pittsie, come on. His grades are hurting.

You can help him, Meeks. What is this, a midnight study group?

Forget it, you're coming. Meeks, your grades hurting too?

I'll try anything once. Except sex.

I'm in as long as we're careful.

What about you, Knox? I don't know, Charlie.

Come on, Knox. It'll help you get Chris.

Yeah? How?

Women swoon. Ha, ha, ha. But why do they swoon?

Charlie, tell me why they swoon. Charlie.

You're not listening.

Look, you follow the stream to the waterfall.

It's right there. It's got to be like...

I don't know, guys, it's starting to sound dangerous.

Well, why don't you stay home? You're crazy.

For God's sake, stop chattering and sit down.

Todd, are you coming tonight? No.

Why not? You were there. You heard Keating.

Don't you want to do something about...?

Yes, but, uh...

But what?

Keating said that everybody took turns reading, and I don't want to do that.

Gosh, you really have a problem with that, don't you?

No, I don't have a problem. Neil, I just...

I don't want to do it, okay? All right.

What if you didn't have to read? What if you just came and listened?

That's not how it works. Forget how it works.

What if they said it was okay?

What? What, are you gonna go up and ask them if?

No, no. I'll be right back.

Neil. Neil.

Oh, shut up, will you?

That's for my asthma, okay? Could you give that back, please?

Could you give that back?

What's the matter? Don't you like snakes?

You're in. Get away from me, okay?

Spaz, why don't you check your pockets?

Come on, Spaz. I have to brush my teeth.

Hurry up, get off.

Cut out that racket in there.

Let's go.

Let's go, let's go, come on.

Let's get out of here. Go. Shh.

Yarr! I'm a dead poet. Jesus, Charlie.

Guys, over here. Ha, ha, ha. You're funny. You're real funny.

It's too wet.

God, you trying to smoke us out of here?

No, the smoke's going right up this opening.

You okay? Arghh.

Oh, God. Clod.

All right, all right, forget the fire. Forget it, forget it.

Let's go, gentlemen. It's like trying to light a swamp.

I hereby reconvene the Dead Poets Society.


Welton Chapter.

The meetings will be conducted by myself and the other new initiates now present.

Todd Anderson, because he prefers not to read, will keep minutes of the meetings.

I'll now read the traditional opening message by society member Henry David Thoreau.

"I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately.

I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life."

I'll second that.

"To put to rout all that was not life, and not, when I had come to die, discover that I had not lived."

And Keating's marked a bunch of other pages.

All right, intermission.

Dig deep, right here. Right here, lay it down.

On the mud? We're gonna put our food on the mud?

Meeks, put your coat down. Picnic blanket.

Use Meeks' coat. "Use Meeks' coat."

Don't keep anything back, either.

You guys are always bumming my smokes.

Raisins? Yeah.

Wait a minute.

Who gave us half a roll? I'm eating the other half.

Come on. What, you want me to put it back?

It was a dark and rainy night.

And this old lady who had a passion for jigsaw puzzles sat by herself in her house at her table to complete a new jigsaw puzzle.

As she pieced the puzzle together, she realized to her astonishment that the image that was formed was her very own room, and the figure in the center of the puzzle, as she completed it, was herself.

And with trembling hands, she placed the last four pieces and stared in horror at the face of a demented madman at the window.

The last thing that this old lady ever heard was the sound of breaking glass.

No shit. Yes.

This is true. This is true.

I've got one that's even better than that.

I do. There's a young married couple, and they're driving through the forest at night from a long trip.

They run out of gas, and there's a madman...

That thing with the hands? And he cuts her husband's head off?

I love that story. I told you that one.

You did not. I got that in, uh, camp in sixth grade.

In a mean abode in the Shanking road Lived a man named William Bloat;

Now, he had a wife The plague of his life Who continually got his goat.

And one day at dawn With her night shift on He slit her bloody throat.

Oh, and it gets worse. You want to hear a real poem?

Want this? No, I don't need it. Get this out of here.

Did you bring one? You memorized a poem?

I didn't memorize a poem. Move up.

An original piece by Charlie Dalton. An original piece.

Take center stage. You know this is history, right?

This is history.

Where did you get that?

Teach me to love? Go teach thy self more wit;

I chief Professor am of it.

The God of Love If such a thing there be May learn to love from me.

Wow. Did you write that?

Abraham Cowley.

Okay, who's next?

Alfred Lord Tennyson.

Come, my friends

'Tis not too late to seek a newer world.

For my purpose holds To sail beyond the sunset.

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.

Then I had religion And then I had a vision.

I could not turn From their revel in derision.

Then I saw the Congo Creeping through the black Cutting through the forest With a golden track.

Then I saw the Congo Creeping through the black Cutting through the forest With a golden track.

Then I saw the Congo Creeping through the black Cutting through the forest With a golden track.

Then I saw the Congo Creeping through the black Cutting through the forest With a golden track.

Then I saw the Congo Creeping through the black Cutting through the forest With a golden track.

Then I saw the Congo Creeping through the black Cutting through the forest With a golden track.

Then I saw the Congo Creeping through the black Cutting through the forest With a golden track.

Then I saw the Congo Creeping through the black Cutting through the forest With a golden track.

Take it, Meeks. Take it away.

Cutting through the forest With a golden track.

Then I saw the Congo creeping through the black

A man is not very tired, he is exhausted.

And don't use "very sad," use... Come on, Mr. Overstreet, you twerp.

Morose? Exactly, morose.

Now, language was developed for one endeavor, and that is?

Mr. Anderson? Come on, are you a man or an amoeba?

Mr. Perry?

To communicate. No. To woo women.

Today we're gonna be talking about William Shakespeare.

Oh, God. I know.

A lot of you look forward to this about as much as you look forward to root canal work.

We're gonna talk about Shakespeare as someone who writes something very interesting.

Now, many of you have seen Shakespeare done very much like this:

O, Titus, bring your friend hither.

But if any of you have seen Mr. Marlon Brando, you know Shakespeare can be different.

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears.

You can also imagine John Wayne as Macbeth going:

"Well, is this a dagger I see before me?"

"Dogs, sir?"

"Oh, not just now."

"I do enjoy a good dog once in a while, sir.

You can have yourself a three-course meal from one dog.

Start with your canine crudités, go to your Fido flambé for main course, and for dessert, a Pekingese parfait.

And you can pick your teeth with a little paw."

Why do I stand up here? Anybody?

To feel taller. No.

Thank you for playing, Mr. Dalton.

I stand upon my desk to remind myself that we must constantly look at things in a different way.

You see, the world looks very different from up here.

You don't believe me?

Come see for yourselves. Come on.

Come on.

Just when you think you know something, you have to look at it in another way.

Even though it may seem silly or wrong, you must try.

I stand upon my desk to remind myself Consider what you think.

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.

Don't just walk off the edge like lemmings, look around you.

There. There you go, Mr. Priske. Thank you, yes.

Dare to strike out and find new ground.

Now, in addition to your essays, I would like you to compose a poem of your own. An original work.

That's right.

You have to deliver it aloud in front of the class on Monday.

Bonne chance, gentlemen.

Mr. Anderson?

Don't think that I don't know that this assignment scares the hell out of you, you mole.

Take a power train in two.


Keep your eyes in the boat. Stroke.

Quick, captain. Let's go.

We got it, Pittsie, we got it.

Radio Free America.

Let's do it again.

I found it. You found what?

What I want to do right now. What's really, really inside of me.

"A Midsummer Night's Dream"? This is it.

What is that? It's a play, dummy.

I know that. What does it have to do with you?

All right, they're putting it on at Henley Hall.

Open tryouts. Open tryouts.

Yes, so? So...

I'm gonna act.


Yes, yes, I'm gonna be an actor.

Ever since I can remember, I've wanted to try this.

I even tried to go to summer stock auditions last year, but, of course, my father wouldn't let me.

For the first time in my whole life, I know what I want to do.

And for the first time, I'm gonna do it!

Whether my father wants me to or not. Carpe diem!

Neil, Neil, hold on.

How are you gonna be in a play if your father won't let you?

First, I gotta get the part, then I can worry about that.

Won't he kill you if he finds out you went to an audition and didn't tell him?

No. As far as I'm concerned, he won't have to know about any of this.

That's impossible. Bullshit, nothing's impossible.

Why don't you just call him and ask him? Maybe he'll say yes.

That's a laugh.

If I don't ask him, at least I won't be disobeying him.

Yeah, but if he said no... Jesus, Todd, whose side are you on?

I mean, I haven't even gotten the part yet.

Can't I even enjoy the idea for a little while?

You're coming to the meeting this afternoon?

I don't know. Maybe.

Nothing Mr. Keating has to say means shit to you, does it, Todd?

What does that mean? You're in the club.

Being in the club means being stirred up by things.

You look about as stirred up as a cesspool.

So you want me out? No, I want you in.

But being in means you gotta do something, not just say you're in.

Well, listen, Neil.

I appreciate this concern, but I'm not like you, all right?

You say things and people listen.

I'm not like that. Don't you think you could be?

No. I...

I don't know, but that's not the point.

The point is that there's nothing you can do about it.

So you can just butt out. I can take care of myself just fine.

All right?


What do you mean, no?


Give me... Neil, give that back. What is this? "We are dreaming of a..."

What it this? Poetry. I'm being chased by Walt Whitman.

Okay, okay.

What are you guys doing? I'm trying... You see this chemistry...?

Hey, give me... Neil, give me... Don't be immature.

Come on, I need my...

Give it to me. Give it to me.

Charlie, help me.

Grab that book. I need...



Okay, everybody on the bus.

Let's go, boys.

Come on, let's go. On the bus, boys, now.

Now, devotees may argue that one sport or game is inherently better than another.

For me, sport is actually a chance for us to have other human beings push us to excel.

I want you all to come over here and take a slip of paper and line up single file.

Mr. Meeks, time to inherit the earth.

Mr. Pitts, rise above your name.

I want you to hand these out to the boys, one apiece.

You know what to do, Pitts.

O to struggle against great odds To meet enemies undaunted.

Sounds to me like you're daunted. Say it like you're undaunted.

O to struggle against great odds To meet enemies undaunted.

Now, go on.

Yes. Next.

To be a sailor of the world Bound for all ports.

Next. Louder.

O while I live to be the ruler of life Not a slave.

To mount the scaffolds To advance to the muzzles of guns With perfect nonchalance!

Come on, Meeks. Listen to the music.

To dance, clap hands, exult Shout, skip, roll on, float on!


O to have life henceforth A poem of new joys Aw, pbbt. Boo.

Come on, Charlie, let it fill your soul.

To indeed be a god.

Charlie, I got the part. Rah!

I'm gonna play Puck. I'm gonna play Puck.

What did he say? Puck?

The main part. Great, Neil.

Charlie, I got it.

Congratulations. Good for you, Neil. Good for you.

Okay, okay, okay.

Neil, how are you gonna do this?

They need a letter of permission from my father and Mr. Nolan.

You're not gonna write it. Oh, yes, I am.

Oh, Neil, you're crazy.


"I am writing to you on behalf of my son, Neil Perry."

This is great.

"To Chris." Who's Chris?

Mmm. Chris.

I see a sweetness in her smile.

Bright light shines from her eyes.

But life is complete Contentment is mine Just knowing that...

Just knowing that She's alive.

Sorry, captain, it's stupid. No, no, it's not stupid.

It's a good effort.

It touched on one of the major themes: love.

A major theme not only in poetry, but life.

Mr. Hopkins, you were laughing. You're up.

The cat sat on the mat.

Congratulations, Mr. Hopkins.

You have the first poem to ever have a negative score on the Pritchard scale.

We're not laughing at you, we're laughing near you.

I don't mind that your poem had a simple theme.

The most beautiful poetry can be about simple things like a cat, or a flower, or rain.

You see, poetry can come from anything with the stuff of revelation in it.

Just don't let your poems be ordinary.

Now, who's next?

Mr. Anderson, I see you sitting there in agony.

Come on, Todd, step up. Let's put you out of your misery.

I didn't do it. I didn't write a poem.

Mr. Anderson thinks that everything inside of him is worthless and embarrassing.

Isn't that right, Todd? Isn't that your worst fear?

Well, I think you're wrong.

I think you have something inside of you that is worth a great deal.

"I sound my barbaric yawk

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.

Gotta get in yawping stance.

A yawp. No, not just a yawp. A barbaric yawp.

Yeah, yeah, right.

Yawp. Come on, louder.

Yawp. Oh, that's a mouse.

Come on, louder. Yawp.

God, boy, yell like a man. Yawp!

There it is. You see, you have a barbarian in you after all.

Now, you don't get away that easy. There's a picture of Uncle Walt up there.

What does he remind you of? Don't think, answer. Go on.

A madman. What kind of madman?

Don't think about it, answer again. A crazy madman.

You can do better. Free up your mind, use your imagination.

Say the first thing that pops into your head, even if it's gibberish.

A sweaty-toothed madman.

Good God, boy, there's a poet in you after all.

There, close your eyes. Close your eyes, close them.

Now describe what you see.

I close my eyes. Yes?

And this image floats beside me. A sweaty-toothed madman.

A sweaty-toothed madman with a stare that pounds my brain. oh, that's excellent. Now give him action. Make him do something.

His hands reach out and choke me. That's it. wonderful, wonderful.

And all the time he's mumbling. What's he mumbling?

Mumbling truth. Truth, like a blanket that always leaves your feet cold.

Forget them, forget them. Stay with the blanket.

Tell me about that blanket.

You can 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 to the moment we leave dying, it'll just cover your face as you wail and cry and scream.

Yeah. Yeah.

Don't you forget this.

Atta boy, Pittsie, inhale deeply. My dad collects a lot of pipes.

Really? Mine's got 30. Your parents collect pipes?

Oh, that's really interesting.

Come on, Knox. Join in.

We're from the government. We're here to help.

What's wrong? It's Chris.

Here's a picture of Chris for you. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

That's not funny. Knock it off.

Smoke your pipes. Okay.


Friends, scholars, Welton men.

What is that, Neil? Duh. It's a lamp, Meeks.

No, this is the god of the cave.

The god of the cave?

Charlie, what are you doing?

What do you say we start this meeting?

Yeah, just... I need a light.

Who's got a light? Did you bring the earplugs?

Gentlemen, "Poetrusic," by Charles Dalton.

Oh, boy. He's gonna play.

Oh, no.

Laughing, crying, tumbling, mumbling.

Gotta do more. Gotta be more.

Chaos screaming, chaos dreaming Gotta do more, gotta be more.


That was nice. That was great.

Where did you learn to play like that?

My parents made me take the clarinet for years.

I love the clarinet. I hated it.

The saxophone.

The saxophone is more sonorous.


Vocabulary. Look at him.

I can't take it anymore. If I don't have Chris, I'm gonna kill myself.

Knoxious, you've gotta calm down.

No, Charlie.

That's just my problem. I've been calm all my life.

I'm gonna do something about that. Where you going?

What are you gonna do? I'm gonna call her. Yeah.


She's gonna hate me.

The Danburrys will hate me.

My parents will kill me.

All right, goddamn it.

You're right. Carpe diem.

Even if it kills me.

Hello? Hello, Chris?

Yes? Hi, this is Knox Overstreet.

Oh, yes, Knox. Glad you called.

She's glad I called.

Listen, Chet's parents are going out of town this weekend and he's having a party.

Would you like to come? Would I like to come to a party?

Yes. Say yes. Friday?

Well, sure. About 7?

Okay, great. I'll be there, Chris. Okay.

Friday night at the Danburrys.

Okay, thank you. Okay, bye.

Thank you. I'll see you. Bye.


Can you believe it?

She was gonna call me.

She invited me to a party with her.

At Chet Danburry's house? Yeah.

Well? So?

So you don't really think she means you're going with her?

Well, of course not, Charlie, but that's not the point.

That's not the point at all. What is the point?

The point, Charlie, is, uh...

Yeah? ...that she was thinking about me.

I've only met her once, and already, she's thinking about me.

Damn it. It's gonna happen, guys.

I feel it.

She is going to be mine.

Carpe. Carpe.

No grades at stake, gentlemen. Just take a stroll.

There it is.

I don't know, but I've been told I don't know, but I've been told Doing poetry is old Doing poetry is old Left, left, left, right, left.

Left, halt.

Thank you, gentlemen.

If you noticed, everyone started off with their own stride, their own pace.

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. I know that... Maybe not. I don't know."

Mr. Overstreet's, driven by deeper force.

Yes, we know that.

All right, now, I didn't bring them up here to ridicule them.

I brought them up here to illustrate the point of conformity.

The difficulty in maintaining your own beliefs in the face of others.

Now, those of you, I see the look in your eyes like, "I would have walked differently."

Well, ask yourselves why you were clapping.

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, "That's baa-d."

Robert Frost said, "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference."

Now, I want you to find your own walk right now.

Your own way of striding, pacing. Any direction, anything you want.

Whether it's proud, whether it's silly, anything.

Gentlemen, the courtyard is yours.

You don't have to perform, just make it for yourself.

Mr. Dalton, you be joining us?

Exercising the right not to walk.

Thank you, Mr. Dalton. You just illustrated the point.

Swim against the stream.


Hey. Hey.

What's going on? Nothing.

Today's my birthday. Is today your birthday?

Happy birthday. Thanks.

What'd you get? My parents gave me this.

Isn't this the same desk...?

Yeah, they gave me the same thing as last year.

Oh. Oh.

Maybe they thought you needed another one.

Maybe they weren't thinking about anything at all.

The funny thing is about this is, I didn't even like it the first time.

Todd, I think you're underestimating the value of this desk set.

I mean, who would want a football, or a baseball, or...?

Or a car?

Or a car, if they could have a desk set as wonderful as this one?

I mean, if I were ever going to buy a desk set twice, I would probably buy this one both times.

In fact, its shape is...

It's rather aerodynamic, isn't it?

I can feel it.


This desk set wants to fly.


The world's first unmanned flying desk set.

Whew. Ha, ha.

Oh, my.

Well, I wouldn't worry.

You'll get another one next year.

To live deep And suck out all the marrow of life.

To put to rout all that was not life.

Oh, my God.

Is this it? Yeah, this is it.

Go ahead, go on in. It's my cave.

Watch your step. We're not gonna slip, are we?



Unh. Hello.

Hello. Hi, guys.

Meet, uh, Gloria and...

Tina. Tina.

This is the pledge class of the Dead Poets Society.

Hello. Hey, how do you do?

Hello. Hi.

Guys, move, move.

Come on, folks, it's Friday night. Let's get on with the meeting.

Excuse me.

CHRIS Hello?

In keeping with the spirit of passionate experimentation of the Dead Poets, I'm giving up the name Charles Dalton.

From now on, call me Nuwanda.

Nuwanda? Nuwanda?


Hello? Hello, Chris?

Knox. Hi.

You made it, great.

Bring anybody? No.

No? Ginny Danburry's here.

Look, I have to go find Chet.

Why don't you go downstairs? That's where everybody is.

But, Chris... Make yourself at home.

But I...

Hey, guys.

Hey, you Mutt Sanders' brother?

Bubba, this guy look like Mutt Sanders to you, or what?

You're his brother?

No relation. Never heard of him. Sorry, guys.

Where's your manners?

There's Mutt Sanders' brother, we don't even offer him a drink.

Have some whisky, pal. Yeah.

I don't really drink...

To Mutt. To Mutt.

To Mutt.

Now, how the hell is old Mutt anyway?

Yeah, what's old Mutter been up to, huh?

I don't really know Mutt.

To the Mighty Mutt. To Mighty Mutt.

To Mighty Mutt.

Well, listen, I gotta go find Patsy.

Say hello to Mutt for me, okay?

Will do. Hell of a guy, your old brother, Mutt.

Are we gonna have a meeting, or what?

Yeah, if you guys don't have a meeting, how do we know if we want to join?


Shall I compare thee To a summer's day?

Thou art more lovely And more temperate.

That's so sweet. I made that up just for you.

You did?

I'll write one for you too, Gloria.

She walks in beauty like the night

She walks in beauty like the night Of cloudless climes and starry skies All that's best of dark and bright Meet in her aspect and her eyes;

That's beautiful.

There's plenty more where that came from.

God help me.

Carpe diem.

What, you don't remember?

What, are you kidding?

Chet, Chet, look. What?

It's Mutt Sanders' brother.


Knox...? He's feeling up your girl.

What are you doing?

What the hell are you doing? Chet.

Chet, don't. Chet, I know this looks bad, but...

Ahh! Chet, no, you'll hurt him.

No, Chet, stop it.

Jesus. Leave him alone.

Goddamn. Chet, stop it.


Knox, are you all right? Chris, get the hell away from him.

Chet, you hurt him. Good.

I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. It's okay. It's okay.

Next time I see you, you die.

Go ahead, pass it around.

Me and Pitts are working on a hi-fi system.

It shouldn't be that hard to put together.

Yeah, I might be going to Yale.

But I might not.

Don't you guys miss having girls around here?

Yeah. Yeah.

That's part of what this club is about.

In fact, I'd like to announce I published an article in the school paper in the name of the Dead Poets.


Demanding girls be admitted to Welton. You didn't.

So we can all stop beating off. How did you do that?

I'm one of the proofers. I slipped the article in.

Look, it's over now. Why? Nobody knows who we are.

Don't you think they're gonna figure out who wrote it?

They're gonna come to you and ask to know what the Dead Poets Society is.

Charlie, you had no right to do something like that.

It's Nuwanda, Cameron.

That's right, it's Nuwanda.

And are we just playing around out there, or do we mean what we say?

If all we do is come together and read a bunch of poems to each other, what the hell are we doing?

All right, but you still shouldn't have done it, Charlie.

This could mean trouble. You don't speak for the club.

Hey, would you not worry about your precious little neck?

If they catch me, I'll tell them I made it up.



This week's issue of Welton Honor, there appeared a profane and unauthorized article.

Rather than spend my valuable time ferreting out the guilty persons...

And let me assure you, I will find them.

I'm asking any and all students who know anything about this article to make themselves known here and now.

Whoever the guilty persons are, this is your only chance to avoid expulsion from this school.

Welton Academy, hello?

Yes, he is. Just a moment.

Mr. Nolan, it's for you.

It's God. He says we should have girls at Welton.

Wipe that smirk off your face.

If you think, Mr. Dalton, that you're the first to try to get thrown out of this school, think again.

Others have had similar notions and have failed just as surely as you will fail.

Assume the position.

Count aloud, Mr. Dalton.






What is this Dead Poets Society? I want names.

You kicked out? No.

So, what happened?

I'm to turn everybody in, apologize to the school, and all will be forgiven.

So, what are you gonna do?

Charlie. Damn it, Neil.

The name is Nuwanda.

Excuse me.

May we have a word, Mr. Keating? Certainly.

This was my first classroom, John. Did you know that?

My first desk. I didn't know you taught, Mr. Nolan.


Long before your time.

It was hard giving it up, I can tell you.

I'm hearing rumors, John, about some unorthodox teaching methods, in your classroom.

I'm not saying they've had anything to do with the Dalton boy's outburst, but I don't think I have to warn you, boys his age are very impressionable.

Well, your reprimand made quite an impression, I'm sure.

What was going on in the courtyard the other day?


Yeah, boys marching, clapping in unison.

Oh, that. That was an exercise to prove a point.

Dangers of conformity.

Well, John, the curriculum here is set. It's proven, it works.

If you question it, what's to prevent them from doing the same?

I thought the idea of education was to learn to think for yourself.

At these boys' age? Not on your life.

Tradition, John. Discipline.

Prepare them for college and the rest will take care of itself.


He starts walking around towards my left. Creak.


"Assume the position, Mr. Dalton."

It's all right, gentlemen.

Mr. Keating. Mr. Dalton.

That was a pretty lame stunt you pulled today.

You're siding with Mr. Nolan?

What about carpe diem, sucking all the marrow out of life...?

Sucking the marrow out of life doesn't mean choking on the bone.

Sure, there's a time for daring, and there's a time for caution.

And a wise man understands which is called for.

But I thought you'd like that. No.

You being expelled from school is not daring to me, it's stupid.

Because you'll miss some golden opportunities.

Yeah, like what?

Like if nothing else, the opportunity to attend my classes.

Got it, Ace?

Aye, aye, captain.

Keep your head about you.

That goes for the lot of you.

Yes, captain. Yes, captain.

Phone call from God.

If it had been collect, it would have been daring.

All right. Go on, play.

We're trying to rehearse, okay?

A good persuasion. Therefore, hear me, Hermia.

Wait please. Excitement. I don't hear any excitement about this play.

And take her hand.

Bring her down the stage and stop, and, "There, gentle Hermia." Try again.

What's for dinner? Spaghetti and meatballs.

Save some for me.

But, room, fairy! Here comes Oberon.

Father. Neil.

Before you say anything, please let me... Don't you dare talk back to me.

It's bad enough that you've wasted your time with this absurd acting business.

But you deliberately deceived me.

How did you expect to get away with this?

Answer me.

Who put you up to it? Was it this new man, this, uh, Mr. Keating?

No, nobody...

I thought I'd surprise you.

I've gotten all A's in every class. So did you think I wasn't gonna find out?

"Oh, my niece is in a play with your son," says Mrs. marks.

"No, no, no," I say.

"You must be mistaken. My son's not in a play."

You made a liar out of me, Neil.

Now, tomorrow, you go to them and you tell them that you're quitting.

No, I can't. I have the main part. The performance is tomorrow night.

I don't care if the world comes to an end tomorrow. You are through with that play.

Is that clear?

Is that clear?

Yes, sir.

I made a great many sacrifices to get you here, Neil.

And you will not let me down.

No, sir.

It's open.

Neil, what's up?

Can I speak to you a minute? Certainly. Sit down.

I'm sorry, here. Excuse me.

Get you some tea? Tea, sure.

Like some milk or sugar in that? No, thanks.

Gosh, they don't give you much room around here.

No, it's part of the monastic oath.

They don't want worldly things distracting me from my teaching.

She's pretty. She's also in London.

Makes it a little difficult.

How can you stand it? Stand what?

You can go anywhere. You can do anything.

How can you stand being here? Because I love teaching.

I don't want to be anywhere else.

What's up?

I just talked to my father.

He's making me quit the play at Henley Hall.

Acting's everything to me. I...

But he doesn't know, he...

I can see his point. We're not a rich family like Charlie's.

And we...

But he's planning the rest of my life for me, and he's never asked me what I want.

Have you ever told your father what you just told me?

About your passion for acting. You ever show him that?

I can't. Why not?

I can't talk to him this way. Then you're acting for him too.

You're playing the part of the dutiful son.

I know this sounds impossible, but you have to talk to him.

Show him who you are, what your heart is.

I know what he'll say.

He'll tell me that acting's a whim and I should forget it.

That they're counting on me.

He'll just tell me to put it out of my mind for my own good.

You are not an indentured servant. If it's not a whim for you, you prove it to him by your conviction and your passion.

You show him that, and if he still doesn't believe you, well, by then, you'll be out of school and you can do anything you want.


What about the play? The show's tomorrow night.

Then you have to talk to him before tomorrow night.


Isn't there an easier way? No.

I'm trapped.

No, you're not.

I need my notebook.

I'll see you later, Brian.


Hey, Chris.

Chris Noel, do you know where she is? I think she's in Room 111.


I know.

Oh, no.

Excuse me. Chris. Knox, what are you doing here?

I came to apologize for the other night.

I brought you these and a poem I wrote for you.

Knox, don't you know that if Chet finds you here, he'll kill you?

I don't care.

I love you, Chris. Knox, you're crazy.

Look, I acted like a jerk, and I know it. Hey.

Please accept these. Please? No, I... I can't.

Just forget it.

Knox, I don't believe this. All I'm asking you to do is listen.

The heavens made a girl named Chris With hair and skin of gold To touch her would be paradise

Uhh. Get out of here.

Cameron, you fool.

Hey, how'd it go? Did you read it to her? Yeah.

What'd she say? Nothing.

Nothing? What do you mean, nothing?

Nothing. But I did it.

What did she say? She had to say something.

Come here, Knox. Seize the day. Whoo-hoo-hoo.

Did you talk to your father? Uh, yeah.

He didn't like it one bit, but at least he's letting me stay in the play.

He won't be able make it. He's in Chicago.

But I think he's gonna let me stay with acting.

Really? You told him what you told me?


He wasn't happy.

But he'll be gone at least four days.

I don't think he'll make the show,

but I think he'll let me stay with it.

Keep up the school work.


Baby. Beautiful baby.

Henley Hall, here I come. Excuse me, just a moment.

Yes, you.

Come on, Todd, I'm trying to fix this.

Come on, Nuwanda, we're gonna miss Neil's entrance.

He said something about getting red before we left.

Getting red? What does that mean?

I... Well, you know Charlie.

So, Charlie, what's this "getting red" bit?

What is that?

It's an Indian warrior symbol for virility.

Makes me feel potent. Like it can drive girls crazy.

Oh, come on, Charlie. The girls are waiting.

Henley Hall. Whoa.


What are you doing here? Gentlemen, let's go.

Go ahead, guys, I'll catch up. Yeah, come on, guys.

Chris, you can't be in here.

If they catch you, we're gonna be in trouble.

Come on. Oh, but it's fine...


It's fine for you to come into my school and make a complete fool out of me?

I didn't mean to make a fool out of you. Well, you did.

Chet found out, and it took everything I could do to keep him from coming here and killing you.

Knox, you have got to stop this stuff.

I can't, Chris. I love you.

Knox, you say that over and over.

You don't even know me.

Will you be joining us, Mr. Overstreet?

Go ahead, captain. I'll walk.

Knox. Knox, if it just so happens that I could care less about you...

Then you wouldn't be here warning me about Chet.

I have to go. I'm gonna be late for the play.

Are you going with him? Chet, to a play? Are you kidding?

Then come with me. Knox, you are so infuriating.

Come on, Chris, just give me one chance.

If you don't like me after tonight, I'll stay away forever.

Uh-huh. I promise. Dead Poets' honor.

You come with me tonight, then if you don't want to see me again, I swear, I'll bow out.

You know what would happen if Chet found out?

He won't know anything.

We'll sit in the back and sneak away as soon as it's over.

And I suppose you would promise that this would be the end of it.

Dead Poets' honor.

What is that?

My word.

You are so infuriating.

Hey, there he is. Hey, hey, hey.

Shh. Boys.

Either I mistake your shape or making quite, Or else you are that shrewd and knavish sprite Called Robin Goodfellow.

Thou speak'st aright; I am that merry wanderer of the night.

I jest to Oberon and make him smile When I a fat and bean-fed horse, pbbt, beguile, Neighing in likeness of a filly foal.

Sometime lurk I in a gossip's bowl, In very likeness of a roasted crab, And when she drink, against her lips I bob And on her wither'd dewlap pour the ale.

He's good. He's really good.

Sometime for three-foot stool mistaketh me;

Then slip I from her bum, down topples she, And 'tailor' cries, and falls into a cough;

And then the whole quire hold their hips and laugh, And waxen in their mirth and neeze and swear A merrier hour was never wasted there.

But, room, fairy! here comes Oberon.

And here my mistress. Would that he were gone!

Then by your side no bed-room me deny;

For lying so, Hermia, I do not lie.

Lysander riddles very prettily:

Now much beshrew my manners and my pride, If Hermia meant to say Lysander lied.

But, gentle friend, for love and courtesy Lie further off; in human modesty, Such separation as many well be said Becomes a virtuous bachelor and a maid, and, good night, sweet friend:

Thy love ne'er alter till thy sweet life end!

Amen, amen, to that fair prayer, say I;

Neil. That's your cue, Neil.

Come on, Neil. Here's your crown. Let's go.

If we shadows have offended, Think but this, and all is mended, That you have but slumber'd here While these visions did appear.

And this weak and idle theme, No more yielding but a dream, Gentles, do not reprehend: if you pardon, we will mend:

And, as I am an honest Puck, If we have unearned luck Now to 'scape the serpent's tongue, We will make amends ere long;

Else the Puck a liar call;

So, good night unto you all. Give me your hands, if we be friends, And Robin shall restore amends.


Yeah, Neil.

Great job, Neil.

Great show, everyone.

Excuse me, I'm Neil's father. I need to see him.

Your father, he's...

What did you think of it?

Really, I thought you were all just wonderful.

Excuse me, please. Excuse me.

Excuse me, please. Neil. Neil.

Neil. We love you, wait.

I can't, guys. Neil.

Neil. Excuse me.

Neil. Neil. You have the gift.

What a performance. You left even me speechless.

You have to stay... Get in the car.

Keating, you stay away from my son.

Neil. Neil. Mr. Perry, come on.

Don't make it any worse than it is.

Is it okay if we walk back?



We'll be home about 11:30 still. I know where he gets it.

Ahem. We're trying very hard to understand why it is that you insist on defying us.

Whatever the reason, we're not gonna let you ruin your life.

Tomorrow I'm withdrawing you from Welton and enrolling you in Braden Military School.

You're going to Harvard and you're gonna be a doctor.

But that's 10 more years.

Father, that's a lifetime. Oh, stop it.

Don't be so dramatic. You make it sound like a prison term.

You don't understand, Neil.

You have opportunities that I never even dreamt of.

I am not going to let you waste them. I've got to tell you what I feel.

We've been so worried about... What? What? Tell me what you feel.

What is it?

Is it more of this...? This acting business?

Because you can forget that.




Well, then, let's go to bed.

I was good.

I was really good.

Go on, get some sleep.

It's all right. It's going to be all right.

What was that? What?

That sound. What sound?


What is it?

What's wrong?


Tom, what is it?

What's wrong?


Neil? I'll look outside.



Oh, Neil!

Oh, my God! Oh, my God.

No, no, no. He's all right. Oh, my son. My son, my poor son.

He's all right. He's all right. He's all right. Stop it. Stop it. Stop it.

Stop it.


Todd. Oh, Charlie.

What is it?

Neil's dead.

It's so beautiful.

Todd. It's okay, Todd.

Calm down. It's all right, Todd.

Todd, it's okay. It's okay, Todd.

It's all right.

Now, listen. He wouldn't have done it.

You can't explain it. It was his father.

No. He wouldn't have left us.

He wouldn't have. His dad was...

Todd. His father did it.

His father killed him. You can't explain it, Todd.

Todd. Leave him be.


The death of Neil Perry is a tragedy.

He was a fine student.

One of Welton's best.

And he will be missed.

We've contacted each of your parents to explain the situation.

Naturally, they're all quite concerned.

At the request of Neil's family, I intend to conduct a thorough enquiry into this matter.

Your complete cooperation is expected.

You told him about this meeting? Twice.

That's it, guys. We're all fried.

How do you mean? Cameron's a fink.

He's in Nolan's office right now, finking. About what?

The club, Pittsie. Think about it.

The board of directors, the trustees and Mr. Nolan.

Do you think for one moment they're gonna let this thing just blow over?

Schools go down because of things like this.

They need a scapegoat.

What's going on, guys?

You finked, didn't you, Cameron?

Finked? I don't know what you're talking about.

You told Nolan everything about the club is what I'm talking about.

Look, in case you hadn't heard, Dalton, there's something called an honor code at this school, all right?

If a teacher asks you a question, you tell the truth or you're expelled.

You little punk. Charlie.

He's a rat! He's in it up to his eyes, so he ratted to save himself.

Don't touch him. You do and you're out.

I'm out anyway. You don't know that, not yet.

He's right there, Charlie.

And if you guys are smart, you will do exactly what I did and cooperate.

They're not after us. We're the victims.

Us and Neil.

What's that mean? Who are they after?

Why, Mr. Keating, of course. The "captain" himself.

I mean, you guys didn't really think he could avoid responsibility, did you?

Mr. Keating responsible for Neil?

Is that what they're saying? Well, who else do you think, dumb-ass?

The administration? Mr. Perry?

Mr. Keating put us up to all this crap, didn't he?

If it wasn't for Mr. Keating, Neil would be cozied up in his room right now studying his chemistry and dreaming of being...

That is not true, Cameron. You know that.

He didn't put us up to anything. Neil loved acting.

Believe what you want, but I say let Keating fry.

I mean, why ruin our lives?


You dummy. Charlie.

You just signed your expulsion papers, Nuwanda.

And if the rest of you are smart, you'll do exactly what I did.

They know everything anyway.

You can't save Keating, but you can save yourselves.

Knox Overstreet.

Meeks. Go away, I have to study.

What happened to Nuwanda? Expelled.

What'd you tell them?

Nothing they didn't already know.

Todd Anderson.

Hello, son. Hello, darling.


Have a seat, Mr. Anderson.

Mr. Anderson, I think we've pretty well put together what's happened here.

You do admit to being a part of this Dead Poets Society?

Answer him, Todd.

Yes, sir.

I have here a detailed description of what occurred at your meetings.

It describes how your teacher, Mr. Keating, encouraged you boys to organize this club and to use it as a source of inspiration for reckless and self-indulgent behavior.

It describes how Mr. Keating, both in and out of the classroom, encouraged Neil Perry to follow his obsession with acting when he knew all along it was against the explicit orders of Neil's parents.

It was Mr. Keating's blatant abuse of his position as teacher that led directly to Neil Perry's death.

Read that document carefully, Todd.

Very carefully.

If you've nothing to add or amend, sign it.

What's gonna happen to Mr. Keating?

I've had enough. Sign the paper, Todd.

McAllister: Grass is garment or herbal.

Lapis is stone.

The entire building is aedificium.


I'll be teaching this class through exams.

We'll find a permanent English teacher during the break.

Who will tell me where you are in the Pritchard textbook?

Mr. Anderson.

In the... In the Pr... I can't hear you, Mr. Anderson.

In the Pritchard?

Kindly inform me, Mr. Cameron.

We skipped around a lot, sir. We covered the romantics and some of the chapters on post Civil War literature.

What about the realists?

I believe we skipped most of that, sir.

All right, then, we'll start over.

What is poetry?


Excuse me.

I came for my personals.

Should I come back after class? Get them now, Mr. Keating.

Gentlemen, turn to page 21 of the introduction.

Mr. Cameron, read aloud the excellent essay by Dr. Pritchard on "Understanding Poetry."

That page has been ripped out, sir.

Well, borrow somebody else's book. They're all ripped out, sir.

What do you mean, they're all ripped out?

Sir, we... Never mind.


"Understanding Poetry, by Dr. J. Evans Pritchard, Ph.D.

To fully understand poetry, we must first be fluent with its meter, rhyme and figures of speech, then ask two questions.

One: How artfully has the objective of the poem been rendered?

And two:

How important is that objective?

Question one rates the poem's perfection. Question two rates its importance.

And once these questions have been answered, determining the poem's greatness becomes a relatively simple matter.

If the poem's score for perfection is plotted on the horizontal of a graph..."

Mr. Keating, they made everybody sign it. Quiet.

You gotta believe me, it's true.

I do believe you, Todd. Leave, Mr. Keating.

But it wasn't his fault. Sit down.

One more outburst from you or anyone else, and you're out of this school.

Leave, Mr. Keating.

I said leave, Mr. Keating.

O Captain! my Captain!

Sit down, Mr. Anderson.

Do you hear me? Sit down.

Sit down.

This is your final warning, Anderson.

How dare you?

Do you hear me?

O Captain! my Captain!

Mr. Overstreet, I warn you. Sit down.

Sit down.

Sit down. All of you.

I want you seated. Sit down.

Leave, Mr. Keating.

All of you, down. I want you seated.

Do you hear me?

Sit down.

Thank you, boys.

Thank you.