"The Lady or the Tiger?" is a short story by Frank Stockton that tells of an unusual punishment imposed by a semi-barbaric king in which the accused must choose between two doors. Behind one door is a maiden and behind the other is a tiger. The protagonist is the lover of the princess. Knowing what lies behind the doors, she signals to him which door to open.Continue Reading
The beginning of the story gives details of the king's punishment. The man stands in the arena alone. If he chooses the door with the woman, he is proclaimed innocent and free, but must immediately marry the woman. If he chooses the door with the half-starved tiger, he is immediately devoured. Her lover knows that the princess has discovered the contents of the doors, and he looks to her for direction. Without hesitation, she indicates which door he should open. If she indicates the door with the maiden, she must watch the man she loves marry a woman she despises. If she leads the man to the tiger, she must watch him be torn to pieces. In the end, the author does not solve the puzzle and leaves it up to the reader.
"The Lady or the Tiger" was first published in The Century magazine in 1882. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, author Frank Stockton is best known for this short story.Learn more about Literature
Elements of irony in the story "The Lady or the Tiger?" include that the story does not end and that the princess must choose the fate of her lover from two doors. Opening one, he meets a tiger. Opening the other, he wins a beautiful woman, and although the princess loves the man, she is jealous of the other woman.Full Answer >
Both internal and external conflict are involved in the fate of the young man in Frank R. Stockton's famous short story "The Lady or the Tiger." The external conflict is with the king, and the internal conflict concerns the decision of the king's daughter.Full Answer >
The plot of "Our Lady's Juggler," also known as "Le Jongleur de Notre Dame" and "The Juggler of Notre Dame," concerns a street juggler who converted to monkhood. Having no other gift to give, he performs before a statue of the Virgin Mary. Other monks accuse him of blasphemy until the statue awakens, descends from the altar and blesses the juggler.Full Answer >
The author of "The Lady, or the Tiger?" does not reveal which came out of the door, the lady or the tiger. The short story by Frank R. Stockton is frequently analyzed in an attempt to find clues as to whether the lady or the tiger walked through the door.Full Answer >