Factual error: The film takes place in a private boarding school the 1950's, however one of the students is studying from a 1980's chemistry textbook. The obvious giveaway is that the spine of one book shows HBJ as the publisher. Jovanovich was not added to Harcourt Brace until the 1970s.
Painfully shy Todd Anderson (Ethan Hawke) has been sent to the school where his popular older brother was valedictorian. His room-mate, Neil (Robert Sean Leonard), although exceedingly bright and popular, is very much under the thumb of his overbearing father. The two, along with their other friends, meet Professor Keating (Robin Williams), their new English teacher, who tells them of the Dead Poets Society, and encourages them to go against the status quo. Each, in their own way, does this, and are changed for life.
John Keating: 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?
Question: While Robin Williams is packing his things in his small room, he waves down out the window at whom I believe is the Latin teacher, walking along a snowy sidewalk. What is the teacher doing, exactly? It appears that he's giving a guided tour of the campus, but he's also muttering Latin words. It can't be a classroom exercise because there are only 4 or 5 people with him. Does anyone know what he's doing?
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