Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Lady or The Tiger

A long, long time ago in a place far, far away the following events happened. A kingdom existed that you or I have probably never heard of. Its king a typical king not a great monarch, but not a foolish one either. It so happened that one of the customs of this kingdom was to throw people accused of high crimes in an arena where there were two doors. Behind one door was a beautiful maiden, behind the other was a very, very hungry and slightly pissed off tiger. The trial of the accused was simple, they were led into the arena and told to choose a door. They were told to choose wisely because if they choose the wrong door they were food for the tiger. The logic was fairly simple, if the accused chose the lady they were "innocent" and were allowed to take the beautiful maiden as their wife regardless of their previous marital status. If they chose the tiger they were "guilty" and were rightfully punished by feeding the tiger. This custom was a very ancient one, and deeply ingrained in the kingdom's tradition. However, our "typical" king just so happened to have a lovely daughter that had taken a lover that was far below her station. The king when he became aware of this was duly outraged, and ordered his daughter's lover into the arena. Now pay attention boys and girls because this is where it gets tough. The king's daughter always was privy to the secret of what was behind each door in the arena. As she sees her lover tossed into the arena she is aware of what (the lady or the tiger) is behind which door. Our problem, our dilemma, our tragedy is simple. Does the king's daughter give a signal to her lover to tell him to pick the door with the lady, thereby assuring his survival, but knowing he will marry the beautiful maiden, or does she signal him to pick the door with the tiger, assuring his death, but never having to see him happy in the arms of another woman? Obviously, I would love to hear your opinions. Who does our young lover chose the Lady or the Tiger?

P.S. No, this is not original this is a famous thought experiment based on a short story that I was forced to read a long time ago, and to write a creative response.

4 comments:

Cynnie said...

Thats so simple!..
She signals to him to choose the maiden.

Love isnt some stupid game, where if you dont get your way you take your ball and go home...

She loves him , and therefore she helps him live.

Dilemma no, tragedy, yes.

BK said...

Well, duh!

Unless she's a completely heartless bitch in which case he's better off dead than living with her anyway.

liz said...

I am a teacher and have taught this story several times....
When I ask my students what they think the princess will do, throw her lover to the tiger or let him marry the beautiful maiden, they are always convinced that she will rather see him dead than in the arms of another woman.

So, in the eyes of most... the princess is a "completely heartless bitch" because jealousy is a powerful emotion.....

The Grand Inquisitor said...

i'm betting on the tiger as well