Throughout the movie “Dead Poet’s
Society,” poetry is the central theme.
Most of the major scenes in the movie are in the classroom or during the
Dead Poet’s Society meetings where the characters are either discussing or
reading poetry. One of the main scenes
in this movie comes from the classroom when the students are being required to
read their own poems. In this scene a
student played by Ethan Hawke is picked to read his poem, but he has not written
one. The professor played by Robin
Williams still forces him to get up in front of class and make a poem up on the
spot. This scene shows poetry’s
unpredictable nature and impromptu characteristics through the acting,
directing, and camera work.
this scene both Ethan Hawke and Robin Williams portray their characters in a
very emotional frantic way. They are
not calm or relaxed. They continually
and quickly talk back and forth with Robin Williams pushing Ethan Hawke to
formulate a poem in his mind. This
shows how poetry can be formed at anytime and anyplace. Poetry does not have to be written down or
thought about, it can come straight from the heart and still be as effective as
any other poem.
director also proves this point by telling the actors how to move and what to
say. He even has the rest of the
students show how the poem affected them by showing their vigorous
applause. At one point Robin covers
Ethan’s eyes with his hands and continues to prompt him to say what he feels.
This further strengthens the idea that poetry
does not have to be concrete, and can just flow from your heart.
the acting and directing, the camera work during the scene also reflects the
true nature of poetry. Throughout the
scene the camera circles and circles Robin and Ethan as they act. This shows how poetry is in constant motion
and does not have to have a strict format.
The camera work shows how the poem is being made upon the spot by Ethan
and possibly simulating how Ethan’s mind is going in circles thinking about
what to say next.
scene contributes a great deal to the way poetry is displayed during the movie
and it also imitates poetry itself. The
actor’s movements and lines help portray the unpredictability of poetry by
being very frantic and impromptu. The
director contributes to the scene by telling the actors what to do and by
setting up background elements that further imitate poetry. This scenes camera work ties all these
elements together, and shows just how emotional and unpredictable poetry can