Why is the arena an important symbol in "The Lady or the Tiger"? 

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David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The public arena symbolizes what the king believes is the fair, impartial administration of justice. The king is notably described in the story as "semi-barbaric," which means that, though a brutal tyrant, he's anxious to be perceived as adhering to at least some civilized norms. Making the arena a public place is one way of doing this. Instead of being killed in some dark torture chamber, the princes's suitor will meet his fate in public, where everyone can see for themselves that justice has been done.

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