Part of Hector’s teaching strategy is to have the boys memorize lots and lots of literature, so characters throughout the play are constantly quoting and interpreting other texts. This is a useful way to introduce your students to new material (as often an understanding of the quoted text is essential to understanding the discussions the characters are having about it) in a way that seems just about effortless. Quoted authors include: A. E. Housman, Philip Larkin, W. H. Auden, Wilfred Owen, Rudyard Kipling, Walt Whitman, H. D., Stevie Smith, T. S. Eliot, Thomas Hardy, Rupert Brooke, among many others, plus Shakespeare and The Bible.
The play was adapted into a surprisingly good film directed by Nicholas Hytner, its original stage director, and starring the entire original cast, including Richard Griffiths, Stephen Campbell Moore, and Dominic Cooper. Check out its IMDB page here.