In ancient England, a semi-barbaric king is in power. He uses superstitious methods to determine if someone is innocent or guilty. This method is choosing between two doors, one with a tiger and one with a beautiful lady.
The king finds out that his daughter has fallen in love with a young man. The king does not approve of this and sentences him to the arena.
The king has ordered to get the most savage tiger and the most fair bride for the youth's sentencing. The princess hates the maiden chosen and found out what is behind each door, but her lover will still have to chose.
The princess secretly signals her lover to pick the right door, without hesitation he trusts her and heads to open the door that she told him to open.
There is no definite resolution to the story, the author leaves it up to the reader to ponder on which fate the princess sent her lover to.
The central idea of lady or the tiger is focused on motives of the human heart. It examines choices we will make when faced with tough situations followed by emotions like jealousy.