I watched it again last night. Prior knowledge removed some of the tension. Of course, it was easier to see the disaster forming. For me, the defining scene was as Keating was packing, he looked out the window and saw the Latin teacher, peripatetically leading his students along the path, identifying the plants, the stones, the building in Latin. At the beginning of the movie, Latin was the classroom chanting of the declension of agricola - not once but twice. Keating had shown another teacher how to bring his subject into the living experience of the students.
The story by Tom Schulman (Wikipedia bio here) is "semi-autobiographical" (Wikipedia Dead Poets Society here). Critic Kevin Dettmar missed one point: the film was shot at St. Andrews in Delaware, but was based on Schulman's life at Montgomery Bell Academy in his hometown of Nashville. (He later attended Vanderbilt and finished a BA in philosophy.) Schulman has several screenplays to his credit. Dead Poets Society is as much a writer's story about writing.
That is no country for old men. The young
In one another's arms, birds in the trees
---Those dying generations---at their song,
The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,
Fish, flesh, or fowl commend all summer long
Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.
Caught in that sensual music all neglect
Monuments of unaging intellect.
An aged man is but a paltry thing,
A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing
For every tatter in its mortal dress,
Nor is there singing school but studying
Monuments of its own magnificence;
And therefore I have sailed the seas and come
To the holy city of Byzantium.
O sages standing in God's holy fire
As in the gold mosaic of a wall,
Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre,
And be the singing-masters of my soul.
Consume my heart away; sick with desire
And fastened to a dying animal
It knows not what it is; and gather me
Into the artifice of eternity.
Once out of nature I shall never take
My bodily form from any natural thing,
But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make
Of hammered gold and gold enamelling
To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;
Or set upon a golden bough to sing
To lords and ladies of Byzantium
Of what is past, or passing, or to come.
(Edited by Michael E. Marotta on 8/10, 2:22am)