The Tale of Despereaux

The Tale of Despereaux

by

Kate DiCamillo

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The Tale of Despereaux: Chapter 33 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Just as Mig prepares to open the door into the kitchen, Roscuro asks if they could speak for a moment. He directs her attention to the floor, where he’s standing. Confused, Mig asks if Gregory didn’t just warn her about the rats, but Roscuro says there’s no need to panic. He lifts his spoon off his head, much like one would tip their hat to a lady. This awes Mig. She observes that her father used to have cloth like Roscuro’s cape; he traded her for it. Smiling a knowing smile, Roscuro deems this a tragic story.
The only people who have shown Mig even an ounce of respect are the king’s soldier and the Princess Pea. Mig isn’t used to being treated respectfully, like she matters—so she’s especially vulnerable to Roscuro’s flattery. Roscuro puts together the fact that the prisoner he tortured is Mig’s father. That Roscuro’s costume is made up entirely of stolen items highlights how morally corrupt he is, now that he believes light, bright, good things are inaccessible to him.
Themes
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Principles, Courage, and Growing Up Theme Icon
The narrator must interject for a moment, as it’s essential that readers understand the most unusual thing going on here: that Roscuro’s voice is pitched just right for Mig to be able to hear it, without him yelling. She hears everything he says.
This aside is, of course, silly and absurd—but it’s also chilling, as being able to hear Roscuro perfectly makes Mig vulnerable.
Themes
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Conformity Theme Icon
Roscuro says that Mig’s life has been tragic, but that it’s time for her to “make the acquaintance of triumph and glory.” He introduces himself and says he knows most people call Mig by a nickname, but her full name is Miggery Sow. She shouts that it’s amazing—the rat knows her name. Ignoring this, Roscuro asks if it’s correct that Mig has aspirations, such as wanting to be a princess. He also tells her that she doesn’t need to shout. Mig agrees that she does want to be a princess. Roscuro says he can help Mig become the Princess Pea, and he begins to tell Mig his plan. Mig listens so intently that neither she nor Roscuro notice the napkin on the tray moving—or the angry noises coming from the napkin.
Roscuro might not know a lot about Mig’s life, but he does know for sure that Mig’s father sold her when she was little. This, combined with knowing that Mig wants to be a princess, is enough for Roscuro to draw her in and get her to agree to help him. That Mig is so vulnerable to his flattery, though, continues to highlight how much she craves kind treatment—this desire overrides her earlier understanding that she should believe Gregory and beware of the rats. The noise in the napkin is, presumably, Despereaux—it appears Gregory made good on his promise to save him.
Themes
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Conformity Theme Icon