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

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

***** short story, "The Lady or the *****?" and the movie, Gladiator, have many similarities. Both utilize public ***** as a way to control and *****othe the citizens of a country; both address betrayal or ***** possibility of betrayal; and both involve a tyr*****nt who arbitrarily wields the power of life and death over his citizens. However ***** no means are the two pieces completely alike. Whereas the princess's hapless lover in "The Lady ***** 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. Another difference lies in the character's relationships with others. All of the characters in "***** Lady or the Tiger?" are primarily concerned with themselves; the protagonists in Gladiator are *****ten more concerned with the well-be*****g 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 ***** and the ***** ***** spectacle to entertain ***** appease the masses. Stockton's father was a strict, conservative Methodist minister ***** disapproved ***** all forms of light *****ment. Although Stockton himself became a ***** writer, it appears that some ***** ***** father's inherent suspicion of games and *****s has crept into his wo***** (Golemba 18).

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

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