Study Guide

Dead Poets Society Scene 1

Scene 1

Scene 1

  • A painting of teenage schoolboys fills the screen, and we hear the noises of a muffled voices and movement.
  • The camera pans down to an adolescent boy in a school cap and jacket.
  • His mother lovingly adjusts his tie and reminds him to keep his shoulders back.
  • Yup: it's that time again. The first day of school.
  • Another older student opens a case and begins to assemble bagpipes while the new boys get their photographs taken.
  • We see a candle being lit and bagpipes sounding; a ceremony begins. Older students march into a church filled with young students, holding banners with the four pillars of the school: "Tradition," "Discipline," "Honor" and "Excellence."
  • Heavy stuff.
  • As the procession ends, the new students hold candles representing the "light of knowledge," and headmaster Nolan takes his place at the altar to welcome the students.
  • We see, in the crowd, Neil Perry and his father, both looking serious.
  • Headmaster Nolan is also very serious. Learning is no joking matter at this school.
  • He emphasizes the four pillars and the excellent reputation of the school, and does his best to intimidate the new students.
  • He also announces a new teacher of English, Mr. Keating, who stands.
  • The students and parents murmur and crane their necks to get a look at him.

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