The Tale of Despereaux

The Tale of Despereaux

by

Kate DiCamillo

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on The Tale of Despereaux can help.

Antoinette Tilling Character Analysis

The French mouse Antoinette is Despereaux’s mother and Lester’s wife. She’s vain, dramatic, and the word “disappointing” is one of her favorite words. When Despereaux is the only living baby of his litter, she declares that she won’t have any more babies—they ruin her looks. Antoinette takes a dim view of her husband’s involvement with the Mouse Council, but she also refuses to stand up for Despereaux when the Mouse Council banishes him to die in the dungeon.

Antoinette Tilling Quotes in The Tale of Despereaux

The The Tale of Despereaux quotes below are all either spoken by Antoinette Tilling or refer to Antoinette Tilling. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
).
Chapter 1  Quotes

While Antoinette touched up her eye makeup, the mouse father put Despereaux down on a bed made of blanket scraps. The April sun, weak but determined, shone through a castle window and from there squeezed itself through a small hole in the wall and placed one golden finger on the little mouse.

Page Number: 13
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 35 Quotes

He dreamt of the stained-glass windows and the dark of the dungeon. In Despereaux’s dream, the light came to life, brilliant and glorious, in the shape of a knight swinging a sword. The knight fought the dark.

And the dark took many shapes. First the dark was his mother, uttering phrases in French. And then the dark became his father beating the drum. The dark was Furlough wearing a black hood and shaking his head no. And the dark became a huge rat smiling a smile that was evil and sharp.

Page Number: 181
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Tale of Despereaux LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Tale of Despereaux PDF

Antoinette Tilling Character Timeline in The Tale of Despereaux

The timeline below shows where the character Antoinette Tilling appears in The Tale of Despereaux. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1 
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Principles, Courage, and Growing Up Theme Icon
...such a disappointment. She’s French, and “disappointment” is one of her favorite words. The mother, Antoinette, sighs that she’ll name the baby Despereaux, though she’s certain he’ll die like the others... (full context)
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Conformity Theme Icon
One of Antoinette’s sons fetches his mother’s makeup bag while the father puts Despereaux down on a makeshift... (full context)
Chapter 2 
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Principles, Courage, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Conformity Theme Icon
...and listens to a sound that’s sweet like honey. He dutifully searches for crumbs when Antoinette asks, but he’s not sniffing: he’s listening to something that none of the other mice... (full context)
Chapter 6
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Conformity Theme Icon
Lester tells Antoinette that Despereaux definitely can’t be his son—this must all be Antoinette’s fault, since she’s French.... (full context)
Chapter 10
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Principles, Courage, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Conformity Theme Icon
...name is Pea—he did let her touch him, and it felt good. In the crowd, Antoinette calls for God and says it was no big deal, but Aunt Florence shouts that... (full context)
Conformity Theme Icon
...will have the option to renounce and repent, or say he’s sorry for his actions. Antoinette shouts for Despereaux to repent, but Despereaux refuses. He announces that he loves the princess... (full context)
Chapter 12
Conformity Theme Icon
...with cloth covering their heads approach Despereaux. They’ll take him to the dungeon. Just then, Antoinette calls for Despereaux. She’s easy to spot in the crowd (she put on a lot... (full context)
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Muttering, the burly mice lead Despereaux over Antoinette’s unconscious body. The crowd chants, the drum beats, and just as Despereaux is led from... (full context)
Chapter 35
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Principles, Courage, and Growing Up Theme Icon
...and becomes the knight, which fights with the dark. The dark takes many forms, including Antoinette, Lester, Furlough, and Roscuro. Despereaux tosses in his sleep, asks the knight who he is,... (full context)
Chapter 52
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Conformity Theme Icon
...right next to the princess. From behind a curtain, four other mice watch the scene. Antoinette observes that Despereaux looks happy. Lester whispers that he’s been forgiven, and Furlough says it’s... (full context)