One of my favorite quotes from the movies was said by Robin Williams playing English teacher, John Keating, in the film, DEAD POETS SOCIETY (1989).
Below is the passage from the the script where the lines appear. The script was written by Academy Award-winning screenwriter, Tom Schulman, who won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay of Dead Poets Society that year:
Keating holds out the basket to Charlie who spits out a wad of paper.
Thank you Mr. Dalton. Armies of academics going forward, measuring poetry. No, we will not have that here. No more of Mr. J. Evans Pritchard. Now in my class you will learn to think for yourselves again. You will learn to savor words and language. No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world. I see that look in Mr. Pitt's eye, like nineteenth century literature has nothing to do with going to business school or medical school. Right? Maybe. Mr. Hopkins, you may agree with him, thinking "Yes, we should simply study our Mr. Pritchard and learn our rhyme and meter and go quietly about the business of achieving other ambitions." I have a little secret for ya. Huddle up. Huddle up!
The boys get up from their seats and gather around Keating in the
center of the class.
We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. Medicine, law, business, engineering, these are all noble pursuits, and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman: "O me, o life of the questions of these recurring, of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities filled with the foolish. What good amid these, o me, o life? Answer: that you are here. That life exists, and identity. That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse.
Keating looks up at Todd. KEATING
What will your verse be?
FIND the full screenplay of DEAD POETS SOCIETY HERE.