What is the speaker's problem that is revealed in the three quatrains of Sonnet 29?

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The speaker of Shakespeare's "Sonnet 29" laments his sorry state in the world throughout the three quatrains of the poem. The speaker's problem has to do with a sense of dissatisfaction with his lot in life; he describes a sense of despair and hopelessness as well as a feeling of envy when he is confronted with evidence of others' achievements.

If the speaker of the sonnet is meant to speak toward Shakespeare's own feelings, then the problem can be discussed in terms of Shakespeare's assumed literary ambitions. As a playwright, Shakespeare depended on his creativity and his talent for his livelihood, so if at any point any of his works were deemed unsuccessful, Shakespeare may have felt the despair and hopelessness the speaker describes in this sonnet. Artists and writers must compare their own work to others in order to understand the desires of their audience, so envy and insecurity are natural partners, which only serve to complicate the problems described in the quatrains of the poem.

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