Some aspects of Romanticism are already present in eighteenth-century music. The heightened contrasts and emotions of Sturm und Drang seem a precursor of the Gothic in literature, or the sanguinary elements of some of the operas of the period of the French Revolution . The libretti of Lorenzo da Ponte for Mozart , and the eloquent music the latter wrote for them, convey a new sense of individuality and freedom. In Beethoven, perhaps the first incarnation since the Renaissance of the artist as hero, the concept of the Romantic musician begins to reveal itself—the man who, after all, morally challenged the Emperor Napoleon himself by striking him out from the dedication of the Symphony no. 3, the Eroica Symphony. In Beethoven's Fidelio he creates the apotheosis of the “rescue operas” which were another feature of French musical culture during the revolutionary period, in order to hymn the freedom which underlay the thinking of all radical artists in the years of hope after the Congress of Vienna.
I believe that was the reason Keating came back to get his things during class, and he was not disappointed in Todd and his other students. He probably did feel responsible in some way for Neil’s death, that he could have warned him or tried harder to “save” him, along with the other complex plethora of emotions a suicide of someone close brings with it. Seeing that some of his students did not blame him and that they understood Keating’s message was genuine probably helped to renew his faith in his teaching methods, thus leading to his rebirth.