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Identifying of the Rival Poet from Shakespeare's Sonnets One of the intriguing aspects of Shakespeare's Sonnets is the individuality of the principal characters within them, the Young Man, the Dark Lady, and the Rival Poet. Nowhere are these people explicitly identified and their anonymity has spawned much disagreement as to who these folks might have been. The content of the Sonnets that refer to these people however, undoubtedly show that these were indeed real people. The Rival Poet was the cause of obvious anxiety to Shakespeare. A poet relied upon patronage to fund the publication of his works so a rival presents an actual danger of loss of earnings through reduction of patronage as well as the professional and personal feelings of rejection, lack of admiration and a competitor being seen to obtain favour rather than oneself. Even the sonnets that refer to this Rival Poet seem to contain sufficient data to enable the rival to be identified: The Rival Poet who writes poetry is first mentioned in Sonnet 21: "So is it not with me as with that muse Stirred by a painted beauty to his verse" and goes on to say: "Making a couplement of proud compare" This component of the sonnet is open to many interpretations but it might be explicitly referring to George Chapman's use of English couplet rhymes within his epic translation of Homer's Odysseys: "The Gods in council sit to telephone Ulysses from Calypso's thrall, And order their high pleasures thus: Grey Pallas to Telemachus (In Ithaca) her manner addrest; And did her celestial limbs invest..." The heavenly subject matter of Chapman's poetry could appear to correlate with Sonnet 21's: "Who heaven itself for ornament doth use" The fin...