Audiences read, hear and view Shakespeare's works through the lenses of their personal perspectives. While those perspectives differ from one age to the next, one country to the next, even one person to the next, a rose by any other name remains a rose. So a deeper appreciation of Shakespeare's works is gained by understanding them through as many perspectives as possible.
Of all the perspectives through which Shakespeare can be viewed, scholars have applied particular effort to understanding the genesis of his genius. What did it feel like to grow up in the England of the 16th century? How did the broad Olympian influences of national politics, religion, culture and science play on the mind of a small boy growing up in the county of Warwickshire at that time? What did his audiences, his contemporaries think of him? The pages in this section touch on the topics those questions raise.