While critics of The Winter’s Tale, for the most part, have been blind to the romance genre’s kinship with the subject matter and dramatic mode of the Corpus Christi Cycles and the expansive versions of motherhood that informed them, to the romance genre’s participation in the cultural debate about the scope and leverage of the maternal in the early modern period, and, more specifi cally, to the strong resonance of both the matter and the mode of the Corpus Christi Cycles in this particular Shakespearean romance, early modern audiences would not have been so oblivious. First, they would have experienced the reformers’ denigration of the romance and forceful suppression of the cycles and other cultural manifestations of the traditional forms of motherhood all over the country. Second, their spirituality as well as their conception of motherhood would more than likely have been profoundly hybrid due to the rapid and often erratic changes of the period. Third, they would have been keenly aware that the meaning and infl uence of motherhood were indubitably at issue in their own culture.