How does the author describe the nature of the princess? How might this quality influence her decision? 

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The princess is much like her "semi-barbaric" father who enjoys violence and cruelty; she is also a possessive and jealous person. Of note, too, is the fact that she has previously discovered a young maiden of the court talking with her lover, a "fair creature...and the princess hated her." Therefore, since this maiden is the lady behind one door, and because the princess has enough barbarism in her nature to attend the "trial," she may decide that her lover should not be given this maiden and die.

The narrator describes the princess in superlative tones. Like her father, she is semi-barabaric; she has "the most florid fancies"; she has a soul "as fervent and imperious" as her parent. In addition, she hates the young lady who is behind the one door in the arena because she has observed her lover talking with her, and fancies that he has returned some of her seductive glances. In her "florid fancy" the princess, who possesses enough power and influence to ascertain which door holds the flirtatious maiden, may easily point to the door which holds the tiger. "No subject of her kingdom should have the one she has loved" may be her reasoning. Then, too, in her semi-barbaric way of thinking, since he returned the "glances" of the maiden, she may reason that her lover may deserve to die. And, "her intense and fervid soul would not allow her to be absent on an occasion in which she was so terribly interested."