The Lady Or The Tiger?
by Frank Stockton
Suitability: Age 13 to adult, mother tongue or EAL.
Questions are divided into three rough categories:
1. Literal
2. Inferential
3. Evaluative
Questions marked are more advanced.

1.1 What is the meaning of the following words in the context in which they appear:
   a) Emanated  (middle page 1)
   b) Retribution  (top page 2)
   c) Impartial  (middle page 1)
   d) Aesthetic  (bottom page 3)
   e) Moiety  (middle page 4)
   f) Epithalamic  (middle page 2)

1.2 What is the meaning of the following phrases:
   a) "The apple of his eye."  (top page 3)
   b) "Poetic justice."  (middle page 1)

1.3 The answers to the following questions can be found in the text:
   a) Where did the king sit in the arena?
   b) Did the tiger come out of the same door each 'trial'?
   c) Did the princess like the lady who had been chosen for her lover's 'trial'? Give reasons.
   d) How did the princess indicate to her lover the door of her choice?
   e) What had the princess seen in her dreams?
   f) Did the princess expect her lover to ask her to indicate which door he should choose?
   g) Why did no one else in the arena notice that the princess was communicating with her lover?

1.4 In your own words:
   a) Write a description of the king's arena.
   b) Describe the king's method of administering justice.
   c) Why did the princess have difficulty deciding which door to indicate to her lover.

1.5 Draw a picture or diagram of the king's arena. You could show the lover making his choice.

2.1 What does the author mean by "When he and himself agreed upon anything, the thing was done"? (top page 1) Why has he expressed the meaning in this way?

2.2 Did the mourners come to the arena because they wanted to?

2.3 Why did the king think the princess' lover would be 'disposed of' whichever door he opened?

2.4 How had the princess found out what was behind each door?

2.5 Why had the king thrown the princess' lover into prison?

2.6 Is there a suggestion that polygamy is legal in the kingdom?

3.1 Do you think women ever committed crimes in the kingdom? If they did, how do you think they were tried?

3.2 If you were the princess, what option would you have indicated, and why?

3.3 If you were the lover, what door would you have taken, and why?

3.4 Write an ending to the story. It may or may not involve opening a door.

3.5 Do you agree with the author that the king's method of administering justice was fair?

3.6 Comment on the author's use of language.

3.7 If you were the king of a similar kingdom, how would you administer justice?

3.8 If the princess took another lover who, in due course, was put to trial in the arena, what strategies might he adopt as a result of knowing which door the first lover had opened?

3.9 Do you think the king's system is a deterrent to crime?
 Questions by Jane Quest