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Vocabulary in The Lady, or the Tiger?

Vocabulary Examples in The Lady, or the Tiger?:

The Lady, or the Tiger?

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"barbaric..."   (The Lady, or the Tiger?)

Traditionally, the word “barbarian” refers to those outside of a given empire. Most commonly used by the Romans to describe the northern european tribes, this definition was also used by the Macedonian and Chinese empires. However, it has more recently begun to mean general uncivilization. It is used in this story to refer to both the cruel nature of the characters as well as their position as outsiders to some fictional empire.

"every barleycorn a king..."   (The Lady, or the Tiger?)

The barleycorn—the length of a grain of barley, which comes out to around a third of an inch—was once used as a unit of measurement. This use of the word was common until the 1870s. Although a little outdated, Stockton’s readers would have likely understood this use of the phrase, which in the modern vernacular reads “every inch a king,” or a king in every way.

"rhapsodies of dying gladiators..."   (The Lady, or the Tiger?)

Much like the arena itself (“arena” being Latin for “sand”), the word “rhapsody” has classical roots, stemming from the Latin rhapsōdia, meaning “epic poem.” Rhapsodies are works of music that are characterized by great emotional ranges and a sense of improvisation. This is indicative of the unpredictable and traumatic lives and deaths of gladiators. A rhapsody is also a collection of people, which shows how many people have fallen victim to the king and his arena.

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