[Quick Summary: A boarding school English teacher inspires a group of students to take charge of their lives.]
Oh, Mr. Keating is such a great antagonist!
Can you see how he gets the wheels turning in the boys' heads?
ex. "INT. KEATING'S CLASSROOM - DAY
Keating paces around the class, teaching.
KEATING: A man is not very tired, he is exhausted. Don't use very sad, use --
Keating snaps his fingers and points to Knox.
KEATING: Come on Overstreet, you twirp.
KEATING: Good! Language was invented for one reason, boys --
He snaps his fingers again and points to Neil.
NEIL: To communicate?
KEATING: No. To woo women. And, in that endeavor, laziness will not do. It also won't do in your essays.
Keating paces then suddenly leaps onto his desk."
He is a passionate teacher who makes learning fun.
---> Which gets the boys to think differently.
---> Which stirs up their desire for "carpe diem" adventures.
---> Which provokes change in the boys...even when Keating is not on screen.
Could any antagonist ask for more?
WHAT I'VE LEARNED: An antagonist's job is to change the protagonist.
I believe bonus points are in order if the antagonist is long gone from the screen, and he's STILL changing the protagonist.
Dead Poets' Society (1989)(undated)
by Tom Schulman