As we take a moment to celebrate Robin Williams today, we can’t possibly forget about the countless lessons that he taught us in Dead Poets Society through his character John Keating.
While the story began as a book then turned into a screenplay, the way Williams brought the words to life is unparalleled. The film was originally released in 1989, but I can personally attest to the themes continuing to be relevant every year thereafter.
The young men in this story are all at a place in their lives where they’re experiencing a lot of pressure to be successful, make lifelong decisions, and to be the strong men they’re expected to be. Williams’ character showed them that there is more to life than what they’ve been taught thus far.
“Medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life,” Keating said. “But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.”
Whether you’re a young man just trying to make it through private high school or a female writer of a certain age, you’ve felt like you had to stay within the lines just to get by. Keating taught us that we’re more than just what people want from us. The ability to put our thoughts into words is a gift that we need to use.
The way Williams was able to engage his character with the students and, quite literally, pull their words out of them has given us a clear example of how we need to be as teachers in life. He proved that pushing yourself and others outside of their self-proclaimed limits can really make a change.
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Robin Williams has always taught us carpe diem, to seize the day. Whether it be through John Keating or Mrs. Doubtfire, he showed us that our possibilities are endless. O, Captain, my Captain, we miss you so.
About The Author:
Trina Dong is a host and writer at AfterBuzz TV. She’s also an actress and screenwriter that can likely be found binge watching anything from the latest K Drama to Floribama Shore.
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