What kind of person is the king? How do you know? Cite textual evidence to support your answer.

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The king is a tyrant who does not quite live in reality. We know he does not live entirely in reality from the statement that he was "a man of exuberant fancy."

Meaning he was given to flights of imagination or delusion. We learn, too, that "he turned his varied fancies into facts." This reveals he is a tyrant who won't listen to reason. Everything has to be his way, whether it makes sense or not.

The narrator describes the king as "bland and genial," meaning he is not prone to show his emotions but is, instead, pleasant and friendly to people. Nevertheless, the narrator makes clear that this surface gentleness hides the heart of a tyrant: "nothing pleased him so much as to make the crooked straight and crush down uneven places." In other words, he uses his power to crush and punish anyone who opposes him.

The king is a dangerous man. He has too much power, he is too prone to use it to crush opponents, and he believes his warped version of reality is truth. For example, he thinks that in his way of determining whether a person is innocent or guilty of a crime, "its perfect fairness is obvious."

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