Carpe Diem

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Alex Rohret
Mrs. Oxley
English 1302
22 February 2013
The Light and Dark Sides of the Force
The first time I heard the phrase Carpe Diem, I wasn’t sure what to think. First of all, I had never heard either of the words used in the phrase. Secondly, after repeating the words in my head a few times to see if I was getting them mixed up with some other words that are actually in the English Language. I later came to figure out that these words weren’t in the English Language at all; they’re in the dead language of Latin.

This phrase’s literal translation in English is “Seize the Day.” There are a number of similar phrases that are popular today that might be easier to understand. The most recent, and possibly more popular, is Yolo, meaning You Only Live Once. These two phrase’s purpose is to tell people to live each day like it’s their last. Robert Herrick’s Poem; To the Virgins to Make Much of Time, is a perfect way to tell others how to live each day to the fullest when he says “Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, Old time is still a-flying : And this same flower that smiles to-day To-morrow will be dying.” This is the first stanza to his poem, and in my opinion is the best stanza of the poem. Herrick’s meaning behind this stanza is basically to Seize the Day. This stanza’s translation, to me, is to do what you want while you can because you will not live forever, and if you don’t do what you want today, then tomorrow you might not get the chance to do anything at all. The reason that we’re studying Carpe Diem is because of the movie Dead Poets Society. The setting of Dead Poets Society takes place in the 50’s at an all boy’s prep school, where it always seems to be cold. A new English teacher, Mr. Keating, at the school inspires a group of kids to start an underground poetry reading group, where the students read poems written by dead poets, or written by themselves. All of the poems read at these meetings follow the same meaning: carpe diem. The name of...
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