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 ***** 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 the knowledge that will save her *****'s life, though in doing so, she will send him into the arms of another woman. Stockton leaves whether or not she saves her beau to the reader's imagination.

***** movie Gladiator also revolves around public spectacle and matters of justice and in*****. The ma***** character, Maximus, a respected general and loyal subject of ***** Roman Empire, has been betrayed by Commodus, the Emperor. Sold into slavery, h***** family murdered, ***** 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. Maximus 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 face with his old enemy Commodus. Commodus l*****gs to have him killed, but Maximus is too popular for ***** to risk it. Eventu*****, Maximus is able to avenge **********, though he does so at ***** cost of his own l*****e.

T***** short story, "The Lady or the *****?" and the movie, Gladiator, have many similarities. Both utilize public ***** as a way to control ***** *****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 by 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. Another difference lies in the character's relationships with others. All of the characters in "***** Lady or the *****?" are primarily concerned with themselves; the protagonists in Gladiator are *****ten more concerned ***** the well-being of ***** or with the greater good of the country. Finally, "The Lady or the Tiger?" is deliberately ambiguous throughout; Gladiator is not.

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

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

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