Friday, 4 October 2013


Carpe Diem: Seize the day. This is the lesson John Keating, an unorthodox teacher at an all-male prep school in New England, wants to convey to his impressionable students. Keating is an alumnus of the school, Welton Academy, and hopes to make his students as curious and iconoclastic as he was (as is). Keating encourages them to "suck the marrow out of life," pursue their dreams, and find their voice. He does so with unusual teaching methods, such as tearing pages from textbooks, kicking soccer balls while shouting poetry, and standing on desks to gain a different perspective. These approaches are frowned upon by the administrators at conservative Welton, whose creed is "Tradition, Honor, Discipline, and Excellence."
Many of the students are captivated by Keating's ideas and ideals. At his prompting, they form a secret club called the Dead Poets Society (DPS), whose primary activity is reading poetry in a cave in the middle of the night. Many of the DPS members experiment with "risky shift" behaviors, due in part to the effect of group polarization. Charlie Dalton , an already extroverted student, assumes a new identity as "Nuwanda" and becomes the DPS's daredevil leader. Knox Overstreet, a quiet student, chases (and ultimately catches) a football player's girlfriend. Todd Anderson, a shy boy who is in his brother's shadow at home, gains a sense of acceptance, confidence, and self-worth. Most notably, Neil Perry joins a local theater production and falls in love with acting. This leads to a confrontation with his authoritarian father. When the conflict seems unresolvable, Neil commits suicide. The school fires Keating, charging that he is responsible for Neil's death because he incited the boys to rebellion. As Keating leaves the school, the boys demonstrate their loyalty to him (and defiance of the administration) by standing on their desks and calling him "Captain".

Watch the videos and answer the questions in the worksheet at the end of this post

Lesson 1 - Carpe Diem

Lesson 2 - Understanding poetry 

Lesson 3  - Conformity

Lesson 4 -  The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation

The end - Oh Captain, My Captain


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