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The primary character in this sonnet is the speaker, generally assumed to be Shakespeare himself. There is a traceable theme and story that runs through the Shakespearean sonnet cycle, which supports the idea that the writer (elsewhere identified, through the use of pun, as "Will") is William Shakespeare. This poem falls within the first 126 sonnets, all of which are dedicated to an unknown "fair youth," whose beauty is the subject of most of the poems.

That is true also of this poem. The addressed subject is not named and is not identified, in this particular poem, by gender, but context indicates that it is the same man as is addressed in the...

(The entire section is 225 words.)