Robin Williams died last night after taking his own life. While news reports zero in on his comedic talent, it was the Dead Poet's Society that first came to my mind. We're not movie people, we don't go to theaters and rarely buy movies to watch at home. Weird I know. However, we have seen most of Williams movies either on tv, on dvd or in an actual theater. But the Dead Poet's Society is my favorite and one I watched, purchased, and re-watched many times.
He played an English boarding school teacher named John Keating and was called captain by his students, O captain my captain, after a poem of the same name by Walt Whitman. I had an English teacher in 8th grade who had us memorize scores of poems and O Captain my Captain was one of them. I can still reel off the first stanza unbidden.
Williams' fearful trip is done.
Quotes from Dead Poets:
- Keating: Why do I stand up here? Anybody?
- Dalton: To feel taller!
- Keating: No! [Dings a bell with his foot] 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.
- There's a time for daring and there's a time for caution, and a wise man understands which is called for.
- Sucking the marrow out of life doesn't mean choking on the bone.
- Listen, you hear it? - - Carpe - - hear it? - - Carpe, carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary.