The phrase that got me thinking was "And the rumour spread that I was aging fast".Like I said,clones age faster because their DNA cells fail to replicate themselves.In 1971,scientists were still far from deciphering the DNA sequence.Today,they're still struggling with the structure of some aminoacids,but they managed to create Dolly-the sheep, yet the poor creature died of agism a few years after.
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So the clone idea isn't THAT far-fetched, but the central theme isn't the clone/doppelganger, its the spiritual trickery (mixed with ample doses of sexual metaphor to describe that cunning trickery).
Couldn't have said it better myself.
...the reason of the unreason with which my reason is afflicted so weakens my reason that with reason I murmur at your beauty;..