Essay - In Frank Stockton's 'The Lady or the Tiger?' A Young...


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In Frank Stockton's "The Lady or the Tiger?" a young man, the forbidden lover of a princess, is sentenced to ***** trial by ordeal: in front of thousands of onlookers, he must choose between two doors. Behind one waits a tiger, behind ***** other waits a lovely m*****iden. Only the princess herself possesses the knowledge that will save her *****'s life, though in doing so, she will send him into ***** arms of another woman. Stockton leaves whether or not she saves her beau to the reader's imagination.

The movie Gladiator also revolves around public spectacle and matters of justice and in*****. The main character, Maximus, a respected general and loyal subject of the Roman Empire, has been betrayed by Commodus, the Emperor. Sold into slavery, h***** family murdered, ***** longs for revenge. He is *****ced to become a gladiator ***** use his strength to kill for the amusement of ***** mobs. At first, he resists this role, but his master, a former gl*****diator, reminds him ***** if he can get the people on his side, he will be invincible. Maximus takes ***** advice to heart and works to make the people his ally. When he is taken to fight at t***** Coliseum in Rome, he comes face *****o ***** with his old enemy Commodus. Commodus l*****gs to have ***** killed, but Maximus is too popular for ***** to r*****k it. Eventually, Maximus is able to avenge himself, though he does so at t***** cos***** of ***** own l*****e.

The short story, "The Lady or the Tiger?" and the *****, Gladiator, have many similarities. Both utilize public ***** as a w*****y to control ***** soothe the citizens ***** a country; both address betrayal or ***** possibility of betrayal; and both involve a tyrant who arbitrarily wields the power of life and death over h***** citizens. However ***** no means are t*****e two pieces completely alike. Whereas the princess's hapless lover in "The ***** or the Tiger?" faces a h*****rsh but fair trial, Commodus's challenges offer only the appearance of fairness. In truth, every competition is heavily stacked against Maximus. A*****her difference lies in the character's relationships with o*****rs. All of the characters in "The Lady ***** the Tiger?" are primarily concerned with themselves; the protagonists in Gladiator are often more concerned ***** ***** well-being of others or with the greater good of the country. Finally, "The Lady or the *****?" is deliberately ambiguous throughout; Gladiat***** is not.

Both the short story and the movie ***** spectacle to entertain ***** appease the masses. *****'s father was a strict, conserv*****tive Method*****t minister who disapproved ***** all forms of light *****ment. Although Stockton himself became a popular writer, it appears that some ***** his *****'s inherent suspicion of games and spectacles has crept into his work (Golemba 18).

***** explains the perfection of the king's method of justice in "The Lady or the Tiger?" as follows: "Thus ***** m*****ses were enterta*****ed and pleased, and the thinking part of the community could bring no

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