She Walks in Beauty Questions and Answers
by Lord George Gordon Byron

She Walks in Beauty book cover
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How does the poem "She Walks in Beauty" connect to the movie "Dead Poets Society"?

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It is important to recognize the historical context of "She Walks in Beauty" by Lord Byron before relating it to "Dead Poets Society." "She Walks in Beauty" was written during the Romantic period of literature, during which poems asked questions about man's relationship to nature, about man's purpose, and about imagination. Romantic poetry did not conform to the ideas of the Enlightenment; since Romantic poetry dealt with the imagination and individuality of man, it could not conform to the scientific methods and reason that the Enlightenment presented.

In "Dead Poets Society," Welton Academy is a strict, all-boys' school, where individuality and imagination are not tolerated. John Keating, their enthusiastic and unorthodox English teacher, encourages his students to use their own imaginations to write and see the world differently. The boys sneak out of school into nature for the sole purpose of reading and sharing poetry. Keating also encourages the boys to break out of the sterile and emotionless structure imposed by the school. "She Walks in Beauty" is a poem full of emotion, a poem that builds in excitement through use of punctuation, ending with an enthusiastic exclamation point. Keating's views are in line with the views of the Romantic time period, which is a key similarity between "She Walks in Beauty" and "Dead Poets Society."

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