As with Ibsen, Spenser provoked in his fundamental contradiction my closer look at the elements of the human condition, and a series of themes emerged.  What is the nature of our most basic perceptions and drives?  What happens in our encounters with others, or, more basically, the Other?  What is the nature of the mask as an integral part of our personalities?  What is the significance of our acceptance or denial of the consequences of our actions?  What is the continuity over the millennia of these universal human attributes?

And these themes led, of course, to the practical question:  how should these themes be explored and expressed?