3 December 2012
“The Lady or the Tiger”: What really happened?
The Lady or the Tiger, a captivating short story of love and loss, teases your imagination by integrating the rising action at the end of the story only to leave you to make your own interpretation of how the falling action concludes. The author uses a third person omniscient narrator so to make it seem as though the he doesn’t even know how the story truly ends. The finale to the short story has been conversation of much debate. What is behind door he opens? Does he die on the princess’s accord? What happens, no one essentially knows, but him dying is the only logical ending that could subsist.
The tale starts out with a fascinating introduction by classifying the king as “semi barbaric” “florid” and “untrammeled,” but on the contrary the narrator begins to describe him as “…somewhat polished and sharpened by the progressiveness of distant Latin neighbors…” Although it is not directly stated where the tale takes place, one can pin point the story to Medieval Europe c.300-400 AD, a very tumultuous time. Influenced greatly by the Roman Empire, as they were a prominent society at the time, the European continent was at a crossroads between the liberalism of the Latin culture, and the less enlightened methodologies that were prerequisite to the changes at the time. This setting is what the root of the king’s brutality and the passing of these traits develop. The fictional account tells of the king’s daughter being “…as blooming as his most florid fancies, and with a soul as fervent and imperious as his own.” As unlikely as it seems the princess seems to create a bond with a young man that is of “lower station” than she. This short lived relationship of a few months was cut to an abrupt end by the Barbaric King. Never once does the story mention the princess make any attempt of arguing the innocence of her lover. This abandonment can only be explained by her...
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