The Lady or the Tiger?

The audience Character Analysis

The people of the kingdom who gather at the public arena to be entertained and pleased by the trials held there. The king’s system of poetic justice is especially popular with audience members because they are excitedly uncertain as to whether they will witness a grizzly death or a joyous (or hilarious) wedding. When someone dies in the arena, the audience mourns with downcast hearts; when someone is married in the arena, they celebrate spectacularly. The audience is fickle in its sympathies, more interested in entertainment than in justice.

The audience Quotes in The Lady or the Tiger?

The The Lady or the Tiger? quotes below are all either spoken by The audience or refer to The audience. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Barbarism and Civilization Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Charles Scribner's Sons edition of The Lady or the Tiger? published in 1884.
The Lady or the Tiger? Quotes

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. Thus, the masses were entertained and pleased…

Related Characters: The audience
Related Symbols: The Public Arena
Page Number: 4
Explanation and Analysis:

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A door beneath the royal party opened, and the lover of the princess walked into the arena. Tall, beautiful, fair, his appearance was greeted with a low hum of admiration and anxiety. Half the audience had not known so grand a youth had lived among them. No wonder the princess loved him! What a terrible thing for him to be there!

Related Characters: The princess, The young man, The audience
Related Symbols: The Public Arena
Page Number: 6
Explanation and Analysis:

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The audience Character Timeline in The Lady or the Tiger?

The timeline below shows where the character The audience appears in The Lady or the Tiger?. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Lady or the Tiger?
Justice, Impartiality, and Bias Theme Icon
The Danger of Treating Life as Art Theme Icon
...day that subject’s trial would be held in the arena. When the day came, an audience would consequently assemble at the arena, into which would be released the subject on trial.... (full context)
Justice, Impartiality, and Bias Theme Icon
The Danger of Treating Life as Art Theme Icon
...would invariably kill him, iron bells would sadly toll, hired mourners would wail, and the audience would leave the arena with “downcast hearts,” sad “that one so young and fair, or... (full context)
Justice, Impartiality, and Bias Theme Icon
The Danger of Treating Life as Art Theme Icon
Uncertainty, Love, and Trust Theme Icon
...his own hands.” The uncertainty of the accused’s fate lent interest to his trial—would the audience see “a bloody slaughter or a hilarious wedding”? This made the institution of the public... (full context)
The Danger of Treating Life as Art Theme Icon
Uncertainty, Love, and Trust Theme Icon
The day of the trial arrived. A huge audience gathered to watch. The young man was released into the public arena, to the admiration... (full context)