What is the action of "The Lady, or the Tiger"?  The Answer

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englishteacher72 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"The Lady or the Tiger?" is one of my most favorite short stories.  In it, there is a "semi-barbaric" king, who has a different method for trying supposed criminals in his kingdom.  Instead of going through a trial, the accused is taken to an arena and must choose to open one of two doors.  If the person is guilty, that guilt will be shown if the accused opens the door containing a ferocious tiger.  If the person is innocent, he will be rewarded by opening the door behind which lies a beautiful woman.  The king also has a very beautiful young daughter, who falls in love with one of his courtiers.  The king gets wind of this and is not happy.  He sends the courtier to the arena, and the two lovers agree that the princess will discover which door hides the tiger.  The story ends with the daughter pointing to a door for her lover to open, but the reader is left to wonder which door the man opens.

The action in the story deals mostly with the way in which the king handles the accused, the goings-on in the arena, and the princess' train of thought as she wonders which door she should choose for her lover.

ask996 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Your question is extremely vague, but I will try to do my best. In the short story, "The Lady or the Tiger," the king’s daughter has taken a lover and the king finds out. The king has a strategy in which he deals with disputes in the kingdom. People who displease the king are put in the arena and must choose one of two doors. Behind one door will be a tiger, and behind the other will be a beautiful lady. The princess’s lover is put in this situation. The princess, however, uses her will to find out who the beautiful lady is and behind which door she is waiting. This is a young woman whom the princess feels has flirted with and been flirted with in return by the lover. On the day of the contest, the lover looks to the princess because he knows she will find out which door he should choose, and he is not disappointed. The princess indicates which door he should choose.

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The Lady or the Tiger?

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