There are several things that make the king truly barbaric in the story "The Lady, or the Tiger?" The king's eccentric method of administering justice is particularly disturbing. Whenever a subject is accused of a crime of "sufficient importance to interest the king," the accused is taken to a crowded amphitheater, where he must choose between two doors to decide his fate. Although this event is entertaining for the populace, it is certainly not just or fair. The brutality of public execution if the unlucky man chooses the door with the tiger is savage and reflects the king's barbaric personality. The fact that the king is not genuinely concerned about a person's innocence and simply enjoys the spectacle of someone risking their life reveals his barbaric nature.
The king's barbarism negatively influences his daughter's life when he discovers her affair with a handsome courtier and sentences him to stand trial in the arena. The king recognizes that he will end his daughter's relationship regardless of the courtier's decision. The king's daughter is forced to watch the object of her affection either die a brutal death or marry a beautiful maiden, which seems like psychological torture and also reflects the king's barbaric personality.
The king shows no concern for his daughter's emotional well-being, and she takes it upon herself to discover what is behind each door. By putting his daughter in a difficult position, she is left with the decision to save her lover's life or watch him marry another woman. Regardless of the courtier's choice, the king will have his way, and his daughter must deal with the outcome. The king's unfair method of administering justice, his affinity for violence, and his lack of concern for his daughter's emotional well-being are what make him particularly barbaric.