The King is barbaric when it comes to deciding someones fate. He doesn't choose their fate for them but instead puts them in his arena and lets them choose between two doors that contains either a lady whom the accused will marry or a tiger that will maul them to death. This will prove their innocence or if they are truly guilty.
The Barbaric King finds that his daughter, the Princess is in love with a poor boy and does not approve of their love. He sends the boy to the arena where he will then choose his fate.
On the day of her lovers arena appearance, the Princess goes and finds which door contains the Lady and which contains the Tiger.
When he goes to choose a door, he waits as he looks at the Princess to find out which door contains which. It is up to the princess to make the decision as to whether she wants to live the rest of her life grieving over her lovers death or living with jealousy of seeing her lover married to another.
In the end, there is no resolution. The author wants the reader to decide whether the princess chose to direct him towards the door with the Lady or the door with the Tiger. I think she chose the Lady's door because she seems caring enough to let another human live and doesn't seem selfish since she decided to love someone that obviously wasn't as wealthy as she was.
The theme/central idea are choices and consequences. The princess chose to love the boy knowing that her father wouldn't approve. The consequence was losing him to possible death or marriage. It all came down to the Princess's choices also ours. We were asked to decided whether it was the lady or the tiger that comes from the door.