What is a description of the king's daughter from "The Lady or the Tiger?"

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The king's daughter is described as having a soul that is as "fervent" and "imperious" as her father's spirit, which indicates that she is also a domineering, intense person. While the narrator does not physically describe the king's daughter, he does mention that she is highly loved and respected by all of humanity. The king's daughter is also depicted as a determined, passionate woman, who is willing to carry on an affair with a handsome courtier despite her father's opinion. After her father punishes her lover by sending him into the arena, where he will be either killed by a ferocious tiger or married to a beautiful maiden, the king's daughter reveals her perseverance and determination by discovering the hidden truth behind each door in the arena. The information regarding what awaits the courtier behind each door is top secret, so the fact that she discovered it illustrates the king's daughter's passion and resolve. The king's daughter is also described as being extremely jealous and is capable of barbaric acts like her father, which makes her decision during the ceremony mysterious and uncertain. The reader is unsure of whether she decides to kill or save her lover at the end of the story.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The story in "The Lady or the Tiger" does not state much about the princess’s physical attributes but her other characteristics can be deduced from the story. The princess is rebellious especially against her father. She understands the ruthless nature of her father but still goes ahead and falls in love with the courtier. This, according to the King, is an affront to the royal family because a lower class citizen should not have the opportunity to be intimate with the princess. The princess is jealous and shows this in her hatred toward a lady of the court, who she presumes to be flirting with her lover. The lady is also one of the most beautiful maidens of the court and because of this the princess views her as a threat. The princess can also be described as determined and relentless. This is seen when she employs a myriad of tactics to obtain information about what lies behind the doors, information that was deemed top secret.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial