From Stockton's "The Lady, or the Tiger?" how do the citizens of the kingdom feel about the king's method of justice? 

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tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The king in Stockton's "The Lady, or the Tiger?" is described as "semi-barbaric." If the king is only halfway civilized, then it is logical to infer that his subjects are just like he is. If the king loves the fact that his system of justice is based on a chance-driven, marriage or death trial, then his subjects must like it, too. In fact, the king doesn't build the arena and system of justice merely for brutal sport; the text says that he builds the arena "to widen and develop the mental energies of the people." Because trials in the arena present citizens with a suspenseful and uncertain ending each time, it also provides them with excitement. The text says that "the masses were entertained and pleased, and the thinking part of the community could bring no charge of unfairness against this plan; for did not the accused person have the whole matter in his own hands?" This means that most people are entertained when there is a trial in the arena; but, even the intellectuals of the kingdom find no argument because the victim has a choice about which door to choose. That's not saying much for the intellectual community, but they accept the arena for what it is nonetheless. 

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The Lady or the Tiger?

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