The life and times of. . .
“Approach the poem through the study of the life and times of its author”
My thoughts exactly. Chapter 1 discussed when to delve into the author's background, and how to as well. Keesey also touches on how to do this, which helps a whole lot. He stresses on finding the individuality of the poet, and the individuality of the age. As we inspect the background and investigate the author's intentions, we must compare the characters to the age that they were written, and deduce why they were the way they were. For instance, we know that The Tempest was written in the early 1600's, when nobility was a major part of life. If Prospero existed in today's day and age, we wouldn't really understand his motives. But since we know that this story occurred in the 1600's, we can completely understand why Prospero wants to have his enemies suffer and forgive him for what they have done.
Only by understanding the age that it was written, can we truly see some of the subtleties within literature.