[Milton-L] Split-Reader

Carol Barton cbartonphd at earthlink.net
Mon Feb 23 07:01:24 EST 2004

In answer to your other question, Deborah, I meant to add that, depending on
how you define the "yes/no" pushme-pullyou, you might want to have a look at
Marlowe's _Faustus_ or Shakespeare's _Hamlet_. In neither case does reader
entrapment of the kind in which Milton consciously engages occur, but there
is a "this is right . . . no, that is right" quality to both of the latter
works that prefigures the sort of thing we're discussing. Perhaps the False
Una/Duessa episode of Book I of the _Faerie Queene_ could be examined in
such a light, too, though Redcrosse's choice is simply the wrong one in the
form of an out-and-out deception for which he too gullibly falls, because
lust get the better of him.


Carol Barton

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