Great Movie Speeches: ‘Carpe Diem’ from Dead Poets Society
Robin Williams plays a teacher (Keating) trying to energise his students through poetry in the much-acclaimed movie of 1989, Dead Poets Society.
Keating asks Pitts,a student of the class to read a poem. Pitts begins reading the poem: Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, old time is still a flying, and this same flower that smiles today, tomorrow will be dying.
Keating gives this memorable and inspiring short lecture:
“Thank you Mr. Pitts. Gather ye rosebuds while ye may. The latin term for that sentiment is Carpe Diem. Now who knows what that means? Carpe Diem. That’s ‘Seize the day.’ Gather ye rosebuds while ye may. Why does the writer use these lines…. Because we are food for the worms lads. Because believe it or not, each and every one of us in this room is one day going to stop breathing, turn cold, and die.
Now I would like you to step forward over here and peruse some of the faces from the past. You have walked past them many times. I don’t think you’ve really looked at them. They’re not very different from you, are they? Same haircuts. Full of hormones, just like you. Invincible, just like you feel. The world is their oyster. They believe they’re destined for great things, just like many of you. Their eyes are full of hope just like you. Did they wait until it was too late to make from their live even one iota of what they were capable? Because you see, gentlemen, these boys are now fertilising daffodils. But if you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. Go on, Lean in. Listen… Do you hear it? (whispers) Carpe. (whispers again) Cape. Carpe Diem. Seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary.”