In the short story "The Lady or the Tiger?" what is the setting, conflict, and outline in sequential order of events in the story? Which are the main characters and which are simply supporting...
In the short story "The Lady or the Tiger?" what is the setting, conflict, and outline in sequential order of events in the story? Which are the main characters and which are simply supporting characters?
The story "The Lady, or the Tiger?" is set in an unidentified kingdom ruled by a "semi-barbaric" king in the "very olden time," although the "Latin neighbors" referred to suggests that the actual time setting is nebulously during the days of the Roman Empire. The king's method of rule is based upon his tendency for "self-communing" and also the "barbaric" side of his nature—he does not like to take advice from those around him and prefers rather barbaric methods of trial and punishment.
The major conflict in the story is the question of what will happen to the princess's lover. Ultimately, this conflict is not resolved by the author. We know that the lover must choose between two doors, behind one of which is a tiger, and behind the other of which is a lady whom the princess hates. We know too that the princess knows which is which and indicates to her lover which to choose. However, the author leaves it to the reader to decide what fate the jealous princess might choose for her lover.
The basic outline of the story is that when a person is accused in the kingdom of a crime sufficiently interesting to catch the attention of the king, he is subjected to a sort of trial-by-beast: he may open one of two doors, knowing that one conceals a tiger and the other a lady but not knowing which is which. The king has a beautiful daughter, who is besotted with a young man of the kingdom. When the king discovers this affair, he immediately accuses the lover of a crime, although everybody knows the crime is merely fictional.
When the day comes for the trial of the lover, the princess has made herself aware which door is which. The princess knows who the lady behind one of the doors is: she "hated" her because the princess has often imagined her to be flirting with the lover. The lover recognizes that his princess knows which door is which and signals to her with his eyes, asking for guidance; she guides him to one door with her hand. However, the author does not reveal whether the princess is guiding the lover towards his death or into the arms of a hated rival.
The key characters in this story are the princess and the lover. The king, too, is responsible for the central action, and we learn a little about each of their histories, backstories, and motivations. The "lady" in the story, the princess's rival, is really only a side character meant to drive the plot; we learn very little about her.