Milton presented his readers with two or more possible interpretations of certain situations for the following purposes: to avoid committing himself on issues where he himself was doubtful; to recognize the mysteries of the universe; to make his plot more intriguing; to create a bridge between Hebraic mythological exclusiveness and Hellenic richness; and to provide ironic commentary on the human condition. Always the technique has the effect of drawing the reader into more active participation through choice. Nathaniel Hawthorne used the technique perhaps more frequently than Milton, sometimes more obviously, but always with similar effect.

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