“Carpe Diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary”.
These lines (uttered by a character played by the great actor Robin Williams) from the movie, ‘Dead Poets’ society’ have become very famous and are probably ranked among the best film quotes.
Robin Williams, who plays a literature professor in this movie, exhorts his students to live a full life in the present, pursuing their dreams. He points to a portrait of long dead old students of the institution and says that they are now fertilizing daffodils.
His intention is to convey about the transient nature of life and that ‘tempus fugit’- meaning ‘time flies’. Hence the present moment is to be fully utilized for achieving one’s dreams.
His unconventional approach to teaching is not taken kindly to by his colleagues.
The institution gets an opportunity to get rid of this unorthodox teacher when one of the students takes his own life on being denied the opportunity (by his father) to indulge in his dream. The professor is blamed for influencing the vulnerable young mind to take such a drastic step.
The last scenes are very touching when his students salute him tearfully saying, “Oh captain, my captain.”