In "Whoso List to Hunt," does the speaker address his beloved or somebody else?

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Noelle Thompson eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Wyatt's "Whoso List to Hunt," the speaker never truly addresses his beloved; however, he is addressing others who are interested in the hunt.  Take the first line, for example:  "Whoso list to hunt:  I know where is a hind."  The speaker, then, does know where there is a female deer who has up until that point eluded the speaker.  Of course, in the final sestet the speaker takes back his challenge to other hunters because the deer has already been claimed by the royal owner of the land.

I can't give this answer, though, without mentioning the incredibly awesome allegory here.  The deer is most likely Anne Boleyn.  Thomas Wyatt was supposedly courting Anne Boleyn; however, he had to cease as Henry VIII became interested.  Obviously Henry VIII (with his notorious reputation) was not someone you wanted to mess with.  Therefore, the speaker (Wyatt) never truly addresses his lover (Anne), but simply warns other suitors that she is already taken.

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Whoso List to Hunt

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