Themes Of Carpe Diem In Dead Poets Society

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Dead Poets Society is a 1989 film about a literature teacher named Mr. Keating who changes the lives of his students at Welton Academy. He tells them, "Carpe, carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary." This one line sets up the central theme for the entire movie: carpe diem. The film focuses on the idea of taking control of your own life and living each day to its fullest. All of the main characters in the movie express the theme of carpe diem, but a few of the characters embrace this idea in their lives more than others. Mr. Keating, Todd, and Neil are the characters that believed and demonstrated the idea of carpe diem most throughout the film. Mr. John Keating is the most obvious example of a character seizing the day …show more content…
Neil was the one who started the new Dead Poets Society with his friends after following Mr. Keating 's advice of carpe diem. Neil was an outgoing character who gave off a sense of leadership and individuality among his friends. However, it is clear that Neil was actually a much more cautious, timid person than he liked to let people believe. When it came to his father, Neil was very obedient and submissive to his desires about Neil 's future. After meeting Mr. Keating, though, Neil decides to seize the day and join a play which is one of his passions. He does not communicate his feelings with his father, though, which leads to a downward spiral for Neil. His father highly disapproves of the play and decides to force Neil to join a military school. At this point, Neil feels like he had no control over his own life and his future. He is not able to think or act for himself. After having everything that he truly loved taken away from him, he no longer feels like he could be himself at all. Neil feels that there is no reason for him to live anymore. He could no longer take control of his life nor could he be his own person. Sadly, Neil decides to commit suicide in a last attempt to gain some control in his life. Neil showed that he believed in carpe diem wholeheartedly, but, once he was no longer able to practice it, he felt that there was no way other way for him to be

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