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Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.
~ John Keating's famous quote

John Charles Keating is the main protagonist of the 1989 film Dead Poets Society. He is the new English teacher and former student of an all-boys boarding school Welton Academy. He encourages his students to think for themselves and not blindly follow tradition and rules.

He was portrayed by the late Robin Williams.

What Makes Him Pure Good?

  • He tells students that they have the potential to become independent in their first class.
  • He encourages the students to become freethinkers and criticizes the traditional teaching approach.
  • He does not show any resentment or hostility towards those who disagree with him, such as Dean Nolan and Mr. Perry, understanding their points and doing his best to avoid conflict.
  • He helps Todd Anderson overcome his shyness.
  • Inspiring Neil Perry to defy his authoritarian father and pursue his dream of acting, being an emotionally supportive figure and allowing Neil to open up to him in a way he could never do with his father.
  • Attempts to keep his students in line the correct way, scolding Charlie Dalton for his public stunt and teaching him there are times when to act.
  • He was very supportive of Neil's dream, openly complimenting Neil for his performance and stating he had a gift, something which Neil greatly appreciated.
  • He feels deep remorse and grief over Neil's death and his unintentional role in Neil's decision to commit suicide.
  • While Charlie was expelled for punching Richard Cameron for his betrayal, Keating knew it was out of loyalty.
  • He isn't angry at any of the remaining Dead Poets Society members for ratting him out and getting him fired and barred from teaching ever again, understanding that they were coerced.
  • When all the remaining Dead Poets Society members stand on their desks and defy Dean Nolan's orders, Mr. Keating is deeply touched and sincerely thanks them all.

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