The Lady or The Tiger?



The antagonist in this story is the King. The king tries to stop the lovers from being together, as well as not allowing the princess to have a say in how the man is punished.

The Princess is the protagonist. Her goal is to either kill or let her lover live through the doors in the arena.


This story is told from the point of view of an omnicious presence, acting as a narrator.


Plot Synopsis


The king of a semi-barbaric land has created an odd form of punishing people under trial in the kingdom. The person is placed in an arena before two large doors. The person is forced to open one of these doors without knowing what lies behind. They could open the door to a bloodthirsty tiger, or a beautiful lady. If the tiger is behind the opened door, the person is proven guilty and eaten alive by the tiger. If the lady is behind the door, the person is proven innocent, and is married on the spot to that woman, despite their previous marital status.


The king found that his daughter, the princess, was in a relationship with a peasant man, and he threw this man into a dungeon. The princess found out which door would conceal the princess, and which would conceal the tiger. The man would be eaten by the most bloodthirsty tiger in the entire land, however the lady is the particular one which the princess despises, and the man would get to marry. On the day of his trial, the man looked up to the princess who motioned to the right. The man opened the door.


The author then asks the reader whether it was the lady or the tiger behind the door. This question is left unanswered and left for the reader to decide, which makes the reader examine human behavior.




The main themse of this story are consequences of actions and suffering. This story is odd in the sense that it doesn't really show these themes clearly, however after looking through it carefully we can find these themes.


Consequences of Actions: This story is all about the consequences people in this land need to face as a result of their actions. The princess' lover is forced to go into the arena to face the consequences of his actions. The arena is based on people having to either be punished or rewarded for things they do.


Suffering: The characters who choose the door with the tiger are eaten alive in a painful way. The princess suffers as she toils over whether her lover will die a horrible death or get married to a woman whom the princess despises.