Romantic definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary
The new English teacher John Keating (Robin Williams) begins his teachings with a fervent lecture on their imminent deaths, explaining to the students that their lives are fleeting so they should seize the day to make their lives count, to leave a legacy of “carpe diem.” He continues his teaching by instructing the class to rip out the pages of their books which describe a scientific way to determine the greatness of poetry. He teaches them the works of the romantic poets such as Thoreau and Lord Byron and employs outdoor exercises to warn them of the dangers of conformity and the power of sports as a way which human beings push each other to excel.
| Meaning, pronunciation, translations and examples
Dead Poets Society explores the conflict between realism and romanticism as these contrasting ideals are presented to the students at an all boys preparatory school. Welton Academy is founded on tradition and excellence and is bent on providing strict structured lessons prescribed by the realist, anti-youth administration. With the dawning of each new semester, hundreds of parents abandon their sons, leaving them in the tried hands of Welton staff in hopes that they will raise doctors and lawyers. When a replacement English teacher arrives, who happens to be a Welton alumnus, he brings with him a passion for teaching romanticism, thus opening a never-before-seen world to his students.
For Frost by all accounts was genuinely fond of Thomas. He wrote his only elegy toThomas and he gives him, in that poem, the highest praise of all from one who would,himself, hope to be a "good Greek": he elegizes Thomas as "First soldier,and then poet, and then both, / Who died a soldier-poet of your race." He recallsThomas to Amy Lowell, saying "the closest I ever came in friendship to anyone inEngland or anywhere else in the world I think was with Edward Thomas" 220). Frost's protean ability to assume dramatic masks never elsewhere included such afriend as Thomas, whom he loved and admired, tellingly, more than "anyone in Englandor anywhere else in the world" 220). It might be argued that in Thomas in "The Road Not Taken," Frost momentarily loses his defensivepreoccupation with disguising lyric involvement to the extent that ironic weapons failhim. A rare instance in Frost's poetry in which there is a loved and reciprocal figure,the poem is divested of the need to keep the intended reader at bay. Here Frost is notwriting about that contentiously erotic love which is predicated on the sexual battlesbetween a man and a woman, but about a higher love, by the terms of the good Greek,between two men. As Plato says in the (181, b-c), "But the heavenlylove springs from a goddess [Aphrodite] whose attributes have nothing of the female, butare altogether male, and who is also the elder of the two, and innocent of any hint oflewdness. And so those who are inspired by this other Love turn rather to the male,preferring the more vigorous and intellectual bent." If the poem is indeed informedby such love, it becomes the most consummate irony of all, as it shows, despite one levelof Frost's intentions, how fraternal love can transmute swords to plowshares, how, indeed,two roads can look about the same, be traveled about the same, and be utterly transformedby the traveler. Frost sent this poem as a letter, as a communication in the most basicsense, to a man to whom he says, in "To E. T.," "I meant, you meant, thatnothing should remain / Unsaid between us, brother . . . " When nothing is meant toremain unsaid, and when the poet's best hope is to see his friend "pleased once morewith words of mine," all simple ironies are made complex. "The Road NotTaken," far from being merely a failure of ironic intent, may be seen as a touchstonefor the complexities of analyzing Frost's ironic voices.