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.
Gregory is the jailer in the castle dungeon—though he’s also a prisoner there. An old man who keeps himself from getting lost in the maze-like dungeon thanks to a rope tied around his ankle, Gregory has a tenuous truce with the rats (they mostly agree to not chew on his rope). When he hears Despereaux telling himself a story, Gregory picks Despereaux up and agrees to save him in return for Despereaux sharing his story. Stories, Gregory says, are light—they can give people hope and purpose. Just after Gregory saves Despereaux, though, Roscuro chews through Gregory’s rope, causing the old man to die. This way, Gregory can’t thwart Roscuro’s plan to imprison the Princess Pea in the dungeon.

Gregory Quotes in The Tale of Despereaux

The The Tale of Despereaux quotes below are all either spoken by Gregory or refer to Gregory. 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 15 Quotes

“Why would you save me, then?”

“Because you, mouse, can tell Gregory a story. Stories are light. Light is precious in a world so dark. Begin at the beginning. Tell Gregory a story. Make some light.”

Related Characters: Despereaux Tilling (speaker), Gregory (speaker)
Related Symbols: Light and Dark
Page Number: 81
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 32 Quotes

“Most foolish,” muttered Gregory as he lifted the cover off the plate, “too foolish to be borne, a world without soup.”

Related Characters: Gregory (speaker), Miggery Sow “Mig”, King Phillip, Queen Rosemary, Uncle
Related Symbols: Soup
Page Number: 163
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Tale of Despereaux LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Tale of Despereaux PDF

Gregory Character Timeline in The Tale of Despereaux

The timeline below shows where the character Gregory appears in The Tale of Despereaux. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 15
Principles, Courage, and Growing Up Theme Icon
...staring at a big human eye that reflects the light of a single match. The voice—Gregory—says that Despereaux is a mouse with red thread, and he knows what that means. He... (full context)
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Despereaux asks if he might get down. Gregory says that Despereaux doesn’t want to get down. This dungeon is “the treacherous heart of... (full context)
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Despereaux protests that he can’t die—he must live. Gregory deems that a lovely sentiment and asks why Despereaux can’t die. Despereaux explains that he’s... (full context)
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Principles, Courage, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Gregory says that instead of love, they should talk about Despereaux’s life, and how Gregory might... (full context)
Chapter 16
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Conformity Theme Icon
...to stop, and a huge hand reaches out to pick Roscuro up by the tail. Gregory asks who is chewing on his rope. Roscuro refuses to answer, so Gregory says he’ll... (full context)
Chapter 17
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Conformity Theme Icon
...The soldier at the top of the stairs tosses down the prisoner’s red cloth, which Gregory hands to the man. Once the door is closed again, Roscuro asks Botticelli if he... (full context)
Chapter 23
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
...action, for that matter, has a consequence. This is why when young Roscuro nibbled on Gregory’s rope, Gregory lit a match in Roscuro’s face. This match caused Roscuro’s soul to be... (full context)
Chapter 31
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
...says there’s more to the world than anyone can imagine—and next to Mig, Roscuro says Gregory is right. (full context)
Chapter 32
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Principles, Courage, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Conformity Theme Icon
Finally, Mig’s candle reveals Gregory walking toward her, with a big rope tied around his ankle. He takes the tray... (full context)
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Conformity Theme Icon
Gregory says that everyone has a “foolish dream”: he dreams of soup, and Roscuro no doubt... (full context)
Chapter 33
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Principles, Courage, and Growing Up Theme Icon
...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.... (full context)
Chapter 34
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Principles, Courage, and Growing Up Theme Icon
When Gregory wrapped Despereaux in his napkin and placed him on Mig’s tray, he whispered, “back to... (full context)
Chapter 36
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
...are surely aware that life “cannot always be sweetness and light.” First, Roscuro chews through Gregory’s rope, causing Gregory to get lost in the dungeon. Then, late at night, Roscuro hides... (full context)
Chapter 39
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Principles, Courage, and Growing Up Theme Icon
...up to hear Louise and Cook shouting: they don’t know what happened to “her,” and Gregory is dead. Despereaux peeks around the pantry door to see Cook wringing her hands. Louise... (full context)
Chapter 42
Principles, Courage, and Growing Up Theme Icon
...needs the thread so he can navigate the dungeon and get back to the entrance. Gregory the jailer, Despereaux explains, had a rope that kept him from getting lost. The threadmaster... (full context)
Coda
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
The narrator asks if readers remember when Despereaux was in Gregory’s hand and whispering a story in Gregory’s ear. The narrator would love it if the... (full context)