Scene One: The Sweaty-toothed Madman

Keating: Mr. Andersen thinks that everything inside of him is worthless and embarrassing, isn't that right Todd, isn't that your worst fear? Well I think you're wrong, I think you have something inside of you that is worth a great deal. (Begins writing on blackboard.) I sound my barbaric yawp over the rooftops of the world. W. W. Uncle Walt again. Now for those of you who don't know, a yawp is a loud cry or yell. Now Todd, I would like you to give us a demonstration of a barbaric yawp. Come on, you can't yawp sitting down, let's go on, come on, up, gotta get in yawping stance.
Todd: A yawp?
Keating: No, not just a yawp, a BARBARIC Yawp.
Todd: yawp
Keating: Come on, louder.
Todd: Yawp.
Keating: Oh that's a mouse, come on, louder.
Todd: Yawp.
Keating: Good God boy, yell like a man.
Todd: YAWP!
Keating: There it is. You see, you've got a barbarian in you after all. Now, you don't get away that easy. A picture of Uncle Walt up there, what does he remind you of, don't think, answer.
Todd: A madman.
Keating: What kind of madman?
Todd: A crazy madman.
Keating: No, you can do better than that, free up your mind, use your imagination, say the first thing that pops into your head, even if it's total gibberish, go on, go on.
Todd: A sweaty-toothed madman.
Keating: Good God boy, there's a poet in you after all. There, close your eyes, close your eyes, close 'em, now describe what you see.
Todd: I close my eyes,
Keating: Yes.
Todd: and this image floats beside me.
Keating: A sweaty-toothed madman.
Todd: A sweaty-toothed madman with a stare that pounds my brain.
Keating: Oh that's excellent, now give him an action, make him do something.
Todd: His hands reach out and choke me,
Keating: That's excellent, wonderful, wonderful.
Todd: and all the time he's mumbling.
Keating: What's he mumbling?
Todd: Mumbling truth, truth like a blanket that always leaves your feet cold.
Keating: Forget them, forget them, stay with the blanket, tell me about the blanket.
Todd: You push it, stretch it, it will never be enough, you kick at it, beat it, it will never cover any of us. From the moment we enter crying to the moment we leave dying, it will just cover your face, as you wail and cry and scream.
Keating:(whispers to Todd) Don't you forget this.

Return to the Dead Poets Society Page