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Overview

“The Lady, or the Tiger?” is a short story by Frank Stockton first published in the magazine The Century in 1882. The humorous tale is short and depicts an ancient kingdom with a bizarre form of justice. Stockton’s story was immediately popular and has since been translated into many languages. It is a story that presents an unsolvable ending, which broke from traditional storytelling at the time of its publication. A classic of American literature, this humorous story provides a metaphoric lens into our own lives, our jealousies, and our sense of justice.

Read a full story summary, an in-depth character analysis of the King, and descriptions of the main ideas in “The Lady, or the Tiger?”

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