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Frequently throughout the sonnets the poet criticizes himself for his inadequacy. Find at least three examples of such self-criticism, and interrelate them in the context of the sonnets as a whole.

A: The rival poet certainly inspires feelings of inadequacy, but there are other instances to look for as well. More important, what does such self-criticism mean? Can it be read as autobiographical – truly personal, even confessional, writing? Or is Shakespeare simply adopting a guise? (Of course there can be no definitive answer to that, only speculation…)

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