The Tiger King- Characters & Nutshell of the Story

By | April 24, 2023
download 140

The Tiger King

By- Kalki



1.Satire on the conceit of those in power.

2.A comment on politicians who put personal gratification, fulfilment of their own whims and fancies above the good of the masses or even good governance.

3. Pride has a fall, self-destructive nature of man.

4.The need for conservation of wildlife.


1.Astrologers’ prediction about the tiger king: Astrologers predicted at his birth that since the prince was born in the hour of the bull, the bull and the tiger are enemies hence death would come to him from a tiger.

2. Ten-day-old spoke asked intelligent questions.

3. Once he grew up started tiger hunt, state astrologer predicted he may kill 99 tigers but the hundredth would spell danger.

4.The king’s obsession with tigers.

 (i) the state banned tiger hunting by anyone except the king, proclamation-if anyone dared fling even a stone at a tiger, his wealth and property would be confiscated.

(ii) vowed to attend to all other matters only after killing a hundred tigers.

 (iii) came close to losing his throne when he denied permission to a high ranking British officer to hunt, appeased him with expensive diamond rings, lost three lakh rupees.

(iv) marries a girl from a family of a state with a large tiger population.

(v) 3-year exemption from all taxes for the village where sheep reported missing, ordered land tax to be doubled when not tiger spotted.

Dramatic twist in the ending

1. The king pleased with himself at having proved all astrologers wrong by killing a hundred tigers, gets a wooden tiger for his son’s birthday.

2. Silver pierces his right hand, gets infected, surgeons unable to save his life.

Character sketch of the tiger king

1. Self-centred (decides to deal with matters of the state only when the threat to his life is removed and the 100 tigers are killed).

2.Egoistic (he thinks he can challenge fate, the astrologers and hunt down all the tigers, gloats when he feels he’s succeeded by buying the wooden tiger as a present for his son; likes flatterers, fires anyone who disobeys his orders.

3.Whimsical and irrational (three-year exemption from all taxes, doubles the land tax according to his changing moods).

 Irony In the lesson

 The fact that one can’t defy destiny or fate, the tiger king spends his life in a single-minded pursuit of tigers but finally killed, not by a live tiger but a wooden toy.


 The Maharaja or The Tiger King: The Tiger King is a typical royal personality. He was born into a royal family and grew up into a strong young man who at the age of 20 was crowned to be the king of Pratibandapuram. At this time, he came to know about a prophecy relating to his death to be caused by a tiger. He decided to kill all the 100 tigers before a tiger could dare to kill him.

The Tiger King symbolises a ruler having power and authority but none of it is directed to the welfare of the state. He behaves like a dictator and his ministers bow before him in mortal fear. They become a party to his ruthless killing of tigers. He is whimsical and goes to extremes. For example, when he is happy, there are processions, exemption of taxes, etc. but when he is angry, taxes are doubled, punishments become severe. The entire state machinery is misused and manipulated in his pursuit of killing tigers.

Tiger King seems to be crazy, eccentric and inhumane. He starts killing tigers just to prove the prediction wrong. Though he exhibits his valour by killing tigers, he is very coward at heart and is scared of death.

Dewan: The Dewan is a senior courtier but, in reality, holds no authority. He is very scared of the Tiger King and survives at his mercy. Though he is sensible and experienced but is never listened to or given any respect by the king. His practical knowledge helped the king to save his kingdom. When the tiger king refused the British officer to hunt the tiger, it was Dewan’s idea of gifting diamond rings to his wife to save the kingdom from the wrath of the British officer.

 Dewan’s efforts to locate and present the hundredth tiger are very comical. When he got an ultimatum from the King, he brought an old tiger from the circus and placed it in the forest. The Tiger King shoots this tiger and gets the satisfaction of killing the hundredth tiger. Though at times, Dewan appears to be foolish, he is practical enough to save himself.