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The Lady or the Tiger. By Frank Stockton. A close reading activity. The Setting In a Kingdom In the very olden time. Marker . The Characters: The King The Princess The Young Man The Young Lady The Tiger. The Lady or The Tiger.

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The Lady or the Tiger


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    1. The Lady or the Tiger By Frank Stockton A close reading activity

    2. The Setting In a Kingdom In the very olden time Marker The Characters: The King The Princess The Young Man The Young Lady The Tiger The Lady or The Tiger 1. Based on the characters and the setting, what can you infer about the genre?

    3. Marker 2. Why do you think Stockton chose to begin the story in this way? Explain your answer. “In the very olden time there lived a semi-barbaric king…” The Lady or The Tiger

    4. 3. What is meant by “self-communing”? What word or words from the excerpt would help you determine the meaning of the term “self-communing”. In a sentence or two explain how you could use context clues to determine the precise meaning of the term. Marker He was a man of exuberant fancy, and, withal, of an authority so irresistible that, at his will, he turned his varied fancies into facts. He was greatly given to self-communing, and, when he and himself agreed upon anything, the thing was done. The Lady or The Tiger

    5. 4A. Look closely at the language on this slide; does the language the author is using look like formal or informal language? 4B Does the language look serious on the surface? 4C Do you think the author is actually being serious about the King? Marker He was a man of exuberant fancy, and, withal, of an authority so irresistible that, at his will, he turned his varied fancies into facts. He was greatly given to self-communing, and, when he and himself agreed upon anything, the thing was done. The Lady or The Tiger

    6. 5. Summarize – In one sentence, explain the essence of the text? Then explain what the author is implying about the king’s attitude toward his subjects? Give at least one detail to support your answer.. Marker He was a man of exuberant fancy, and, withal, of an authority so irresistible that, at his will, he turned his varied fancies into facts. He was greatly given to self-communing, and, when he and himself agreed upon anything, the thing was done. The Lady or The Tiger

    7. 6. What does the author mean by poetic justice? Marker This vast amphitheater, with its encircling galleries, its mysterious vaults, and its unseen passages, was an agent of poetic justice, in which crime was punished, or virtue rewarded, by the decrees of an impartial and incorruptible chance. The Lady or The Tiger

    8. 7. Do you think the King’s system of justice meets the criteria of poetic justice? Why or why not? Cite textual evidence to support your answer. Marker poetic justice, in literature, an outcome in which vice is punished and virtue rewarded, usually in a manner peculiarly or ironically appropriate. The term was coined by the English literary critic Thomas Rymer in the 17th century, when it was believed that a work of literature should uphold moral principles and instruct the reader in correct moral behaviour. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/466054/poetic-justice The Lady or The Tiger

    9. 8. What is meant by the phrase, the decrees of chance? Explain how the decrees of chance could be considered impartial and incorruptible. Marker This vast amphitheater, with its encircling galleries, its mysterious vaults, and its unseen passages, was an agent of poetic justice, in which crime was punished, or virtue rewarded, by the decrees of an impartial and incorruptible chance. The Lady or The Tiger

    10. solely from the brain of this man, who, every barleycorn a king, knew no tradition to which he owed more allegiance than pleased his fancy, and who ingrafted on every adopted form of human thought and action the rich growth of his barbaric idealism. 9. Based on the above text, what can you infer about the King’s attitude regarding himself? What textual evidence can you cite? Marker When a subject was accused of a crime of sufficient importance to interest the king, public notice was given that on an appointed day the fate of the accused person would be decided in the king's arena, a structure which well deserved its name, for, although its form and plan were borrowed from afar, its purpose emanated The Lady or The Tiger

    11. The decisions of this tribunal were not only fair, they were positively determinate: the accused person was instantly punished if he found himself guilty, and, if innocent, he was rewarded on the spot, whether he liked it or not. There was no escape from the judgments of the king's arena. 10. Based on the above text, what does the author mean by “its perfect fairness is obvious?” Do you agree? Why or why not? Marker This was the king's semi-barbaric method of administering justice. Its perfect fairness is obvious. The criminal could not know out of which door would come the lady; he opened either he pleased, without having the slightest idea whether, in the next instant, he was to be devoured or married. On some occasions the tiger came out of one door, and on some out of the other. The Lady or The Tiger

    12. Thus, the masses were entertained and pleased, and the thinking part of the community could bring no charge of unfairness against this plan, for did not the accused person have the whole matter in his own hands? 11A. Based on this excerpt, and what you have read thus far, what can you infer about the author’s view of human nature? 11B. Did the accused person really have the matter in his hands? In a few sentences, explain why or why not. Marker The institution was a very popular one.  When the people gathered together on one of the great trial days, they never knew whether they were to witness a bloody slaughter or a hilarious wedding. This element of uncertainty lent an interest to the occasion which it could not otherwise have attained. The Lady or The Tiger Clip

    13. Marker . The Lady or The Tiger 12. Based on what you have read so far, why do you think Stockton refers to the king as semi-barbaric rather than completely barbaric or completely civilized? Cite textual evidence to support your answer.

    14. 13. Based on what you have read and your prior knowledge, why do you think the king disapproved of the young man seeing his daughter? Marker This love affair moved on happily for many months, until one day the king happened to discover its existence. He did not hesitate nor waver in regard to his duty in the premises. The youth was immediately cast into prison, and a day was appointed for his trial in the king's arena. The Lady or The Tiger

    15. 14. Based on context clues, explain what the author meant by the “course of events.” Could the “course of events” determine whether the young man had done wrong? Why/why not? If so, how, if not, why not? Marker “… and the king would take an aesthetic pleasure in watching the course of events, which would determine whether or not the young man had done wrong in allowing himself to love the princess.” The Lady or The Tiger

    16. 15. In this excerpt, Stockton uses figurative language to make an important point about the Princess. In your own words, explain the literal meaning of the underlined passage. Marker The girl was lovely, but she had dared to raise her eyes to the loved one of the princess; and, with all the intensity of the savage blood transmitted to her through long lines of wholly barbaric ancestors, she hated the woman who blushed and trembled behind that silent door. The Lady or The Tiger

    17. Marker The girl was lovely, but she had dared to raise her eyes to the loved one of the princess; and, with all the intensity of the savage blood transmitted to her through long lines of wholly barbaric ancestors, she hated the woman who blushed and trembled behind that silent door. The Lady or The Tiger 16. In one sentence, explain the central idea of this passage.

    18. but upon that hot-blooded, semi-barbaric princess, her soul at a white heat beneath the combined fires of despair and jealousy. She had lost him, but who should have him? Marker The more we reflect upon this question, the harder it is to answer. It involves a study of the human heart which leads us through devious mazes of passion, out of which it is difficult to find our way. Think of it, fair reader, not as if the decision of the question depended upon yourself, The Lady or The Tiger 17. What does the figurative language in the underlined sentence say about the author’s attitude about human emotion? Explain your answer using literal language.

    19. but upon that hot-blooded, semi-barbaric princess, her soul at a white heat beneath the combined fires of despair and jealousy. She had lost him, but who should have him? Marker The more we reflect upon this question, the harder it is to answer. It involves a study of the human heart which leads us through devious mazes of passion, out of which it is difficult to find our way. Think of it, fair reader, not as if the decision of the question depended upon yourself, The Lady or The Tiger 18. What does it mean to be “hot-blooded? What does it mean to be cold-blooded? In a few sentences, explain the difference between hot and cold-blooded?

    20. 19. Why did the author leave the resolution of the story to the reader? What effect does this have on the reader? Explain your answer. Marker The question of her decision is one not to be lightly considered, and it is not for me to presume to set myself up as the one person able to answer it. And so I leave it with all of you: Which came out of the opened door - the lady, or the tiger? The Lady or The Tiger

    21. 20-A. What would motivate the princess to choose the door of the tiger? 20-B What would motivate her to choose the door of the lady? 20-C How does the idea of being semibarbaric fit into her choice? Marker The question of her decision is one not to be lightly considered, and it is not for me to presume to set myself up as the one person able to answer it. And so I leave it with all of you: Which came out of the opened door - the lady, or the tiger? The Lady or The Tiger

    22. After reading the excerpt, write a two or three paragraph essay in which you analyze and explain at least three points on which King James I and the Semibarbaraic King (if he were a real person) would agree. Cite at least three details from each reading to support your assertions. Marker For this activity, read the excerpt from King James I on the divine right of kings. The Lady or The Tiger

    23. But how much oftener had she seen him at the other door! How in her grievous reveries had she gnashed her teeth, and torn her hair, when she saw his start of rapturous delight as he opened the door of the lady! Marker How often, in her waking hours and in her dreams, had she started in wild horror, and covered her face with her hands as she thought of her lover opening the door on the other side of which waited the cruel fangs of the tiger! The Lady or The Tiger Essay Question: In literature, the theme is often defined as an insight into life or human nature that the author wishes to share with the reader; based on this definition, what do you see as the theme of “The Lady or the Tiger”? Explain your answer citing textual evidence.

    24. Research Project: Using internet resources, develop a short two or three paragraph essay in which you explain the precise meaning of the term “poetic justice”. You will present your findings to the teacher before proceeding to the next activity. Marker The question of her decision is one not to be lightly considered, and it is not for me to presume to set myself up as the one person able to answer it. And so I leave it with all of you: Which came out of the opened door - the lady, or the tiger? The Lady or The Tiger

    25. Extension essay : In the “Lady or the Tiger”, Stockton developed a plot that dealt with a semibarbaric king’s system of justice. Think about the way in which the author developed the plot, and how he left the resolution up to the reader. Keeping with the original plot, write an alternative conclusion to the original story. The resolution of your story must include the concept of poetic justice. Marker The question of her decision is one not to be lightly considered, and it is not for me to presume to set myself up as the one person able to answer it. And so I leave it with all of you: Which came out of the opened door - the lady, or the tiger? The Lady or The Tiger

    26. VENN DIAGRAM King James I PlaceholderPlaceholderPlaceholderPlaceholder SemibarbaricKIng PlaceholderPlaceholderPlaceholderPlaceholder Common PlaceholderPlaceholderPlaceholderPlaceholder