The characters in the story "The Lady, or the Tiger?" are the courtier or the lover, the king, the lady and the princess. The story, written by Frank R. Stockton, was initially titled "In the King's Arena."
The fantasy story "The Lady, or the Tiger?" was retitled by the editor of the Century magazine in July of 1882. It remains as Stockton's most prominent work. The story revolves around a ruthless king who discovers his daughter's secret affair with a commoner. The king imprisons the princess' lover in a criminal's arena where the prisoner is subjected to a choice between two doors, one leads to freedom and the other to certain death. The courtier selects a door based on a signal from the princess. The author leaves it to his readers' imagination which door contains the lady, which represents his freedom, or the tiger, which results in his agonizing death.