There are several ways of reading. We can read to escape or to be entertained; to be confirmed in our own point of view or be challenged by another; to be inspired or attack; to evaluate critically or challenge; to judge, condemn, or simply to understand. It is this last way of reading - of wanting to understand the human heart in its many permutations in Shakespeare that interests us here.
The speech 'Our revels now are ended' is famous as Shakespeare's farewell address to us, his audience. It is usually delivered indirectly to the theater audience by the retiring magician Prospero near the end of The Tempest , the last play written entirely by Shakespeare and written at the end of his career.
All paths lead to the mountaintop, and every teacher of Shakespeare has his or her way of teaching his plays. This is the first in a series of articles that explore one teacher's suggestions to high-school students for reading his plays. These articles are addressed to students, but teachers also may find them of interest, as may the general reader.