How did the princess discover what was behind both doors in "The Lady or the Tiger" by Frank R. Stockton?
In the story, the princess was said to have possessed "more power, influence, and force of character than any one who had ever before been interested in such a case." She had power because she was the king's daughter, great influence because of her position in society, and an implacable will because of her proud ancestry.
The text documents for us the princess' strong will, which is her heritage from her "semi-barbaric" father; even in love, her "ardor" for her lover had contained "enough of barbarism in it to make it exceedingly warm and strong." In essence, no citizen of her father's kingdom would have dared to thwart the princess' will, if her purpose was to discover what was behind each door.
The text also tells us that "gold, and the power of a woman's will, had brought the secret to the princess." This references the fact that the princess had likely bribed the necessary parties to reveal to her what lay behind each door. Either way, her payment in gold certainly allowed her to gain access to the inner sanctuaries of the tribunal, whose decisions regarding each trial were "positively determinate" and indisputable.
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