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

***** movie Gladiator also revolves around public spectacle and matters of justice and in*****. The main character, Maximus, a respected general and loyal subject of ***** Roman Empire, has been betrayed by Commodus, the Emperor. Sold into slavery, his family murdered, Maximus longs for revenge. He is forced to become a gladiator ***** use his strength to kill for ***** am*****ment of the mobs. At first, he resists this role, but his master, a former gladiator, reminds him that if he can get the people on his side, he will be invincible. ***** 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 to ***** with his old enemy Commodus. Commodus l*****gs to have ***** *****ed, but Maximus is too popular for Commodus to r*****k it. Eventu*****, Maximus is able to avenge himself, though ***** does so at the cost ***** h***** own life.

The short s*****ry, "The Lady or ***** *****?" and the movie, Gladiator, have many similarities. Both utilize public spectacle as a w*****y to control and *****othe the citizens of a country; both address betrayal or ***** possibility ***** betrayal; ***** 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 ***** or the Tiger?" faces a harsh 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 "***** Lady ***** the Tiger?" ***** primarily concerned with themselves; the protagonists in Gladiator are *****ten more concerned with the well-being of others or with the greater good of the country. Finally, "The Lady or the *****?" is deliberately ambiguous throughout; Gladiator is *****t.

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

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

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