Study Guide

Dead Poets Society Scene 17

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Scene 17

Scene 17

  • Knox enters the high school, and he's carrying flowers.
  • He finds Chris, but she won't accept his flowers or his apology for the other night.
  • So he bursts into her classroom and reads her a poem. She puts her head down on her desk, embarrassed.
  • Meanwhile, Mr. Keating finds Neil, who lies and tells him that he's allowed to stay in the play.
  • In the bathroom, Charlie reveals that he's painted a red lightning bolt on his chest in order to attract girls.
  • As they laugh and exit, they see that Chris is standing in the doorway of the school. She warns him about Chet, and Knox convinces her to attend the play with him.
  • The guys watch Neil as Puck; they are awestruck by his talent.
  • From backstage, Neil watches his father enter the theater. We see his face fall, but he gives his final monologue anyway.
  • The crowd goes wild with applause for his performance, and he's jubilant.
  • But his father is…not. He orders Neil to leave and brings him home to tell him that Neil will be entering military school and then medical school.
  • Neil sits, crestfallen, and doesn't argue.
  • In his room alone, he opens the window and stands there shirtless, wearing his Puck crown.
  • Then we see him walk down the stairs, slowly, in the dark.
  • He sits at his father's desk, still shirtless, and unwraps a small item.
  • We quickly cut to his father, who sits up in bed and asks his mother what he just heard.
  • Uh oh.
  • His father sees the crown on the windowsill in Neil's room and quickly heads to his study.
  • There, he smells something and then sees Neil, who has shot himself.
  • The film moves in slow motion as his parents react with grief at the suicide of their son.

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