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.

Queen Rosemary Character Analysis

Queen Rosemary was King Phillip’s wife and the Princess Pea’s mother until her death not long before Despereaux’s birth. She was a straightforward woman who loved her family most of all—and after that, she loved soup. Because of this, Cook served soup for every meal and elevated her soup recipes to the level of art. The queen died when the rat Roscuro fell into her soup, startling her to death. Following her death, King Phillip outlaws soup, soup-making, and soup-eating implements in the Kingdom of Dor.

Queen Rosemary Quotes in The Tale of Despereaux

The The Tale of Despereaux quotes below are all either spoken by Queen Rosemary or refer to Queen Rosemary. 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 7 Quotes

Do not speak to her!” thundered the king.

Despereaux dropped his handkerchief. He backed away from the king.

“Rodents do not speak to princesses. We will not have this becoming a topsy-turvy, wrong-headed world. There are rules. Scat. Get lost, before my common sense returns and I have you killed.”

Page Number: 40
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 19 Quotes

And the little princess! How lovely she was! How much like light itself. Her gown was covered in sequins that winked and glimmered at the rat. And when she laughed, and she laughed often, everything around her seemed to glow brighter.

“Oh, really,” said Roscuro, “this is too extraordinary. This is too wonderful. I must tell Botticelli that he was wrong. Suffering is not the answer. Light is the answer.”

Related Symbols: Light and Dark
Page Number: 105
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 21 Quotes

“Go back to the dungeon” was what the look she gave him said. “Go back into the darkness where you belong.”

This look, reader, broke Roscuro’s heart.

Did you think that rats do not have hearts? Wrong. All living things have a heart. And the heart of any living thing can be broken.

If the rat had not looked over his shoulder, perhaps his heart would not have broken. And it is possible, then, that I would not have a story to tell.

But, reader, he did look.

Related Symbols: Light and Dark, Soup
Page Number: 113
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 23 Quotes

But, reader, we must not forget that King Phillip loved the queen and that without her, he was lost. This is the danger of loving: No matter how powerful you are, no matter how many kingdoms you rule, you cannot stop those you love from dying. Making soup illegal, outlawing rats, these things soothed the poor king’s heart. And so we must forgive him.

Related Symbols: Soup
Page Number: 119
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 26 Quotes

Looking at the royal family had awakened some deep and slumbering need in her; it was if a small candle had been lit in her interior, sparked to life by the brilliance of the king and the queen and the princess.

For the first time in her life, reader, Mig hoped.

And hope is like love…a ridiculous, wonderful, powerful thing.

Mig tried to name this strange emotion; she put a hand up to touch one of her aching ears, and she realized that the feeling she was experiencing, the hope blooming inside of her, felt exactly the opposite of a good clout.

Related Symbols: Light and Dark
Page Number: 134
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:
Chapter 49 Quotes

“What do you want, Miggery Sow?!” the princess shouted.

“Don’t ask her that,” said Roscuro. “Shut up. Shut up.”

But it was too late. The words had been said; the question, at last, had been asked. The world stopped spinning and all of creation held its breath, waiting to hear what it was that Miggery Sow wanted.

“I want…,” said Mig.

“Yes?” shouted the Pea.

“I want my ma!” cried Mig, into the silent, waiting world. “I want my ma!”

“Oh,” said the princess. She held out her hand to Mig.

Mig took hold of it.

“I want my mother, too,” said the princess softly. And she squeezed Mig’s hand.

Related Characters: Chiaroscuro “Roscuro” (speaker), Miggery Sow “Mig” (speaker), The Princess Pea (speaker), Queen Rosemary
Page Number: 254
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Tale of Despereaux LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Tale of Despereaux PDF

Queen Rosemary Character Timeline in The Tale of Despereaux

The timeline below shows where the character Queen Rosemary appears in The Tale of Despereaux. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 7
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Conformity Theme Icon
...put “it” down. They argue until the king reminds the Pea of her mother, the queen. Mice, he says, are rodents and so are related to rats—and the Pea must never... (full context)
Chapter 15
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
...says this is evidence of how painful it is to love: the king loved the queen and she died, and this pile of stuff is the result. Gregory says Despereaux will... (full context)
Chapter 19
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Conformity Theme Icon
...wanders from room to room until he gets to the banquet hall, where King Phillip, Queen Rosemary , the Princess Pea, and some nobles are dining. Roscuro has never seen happy people,... (full context)
Chapter 20
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Conformity Theme Icon
...realization is so huge that Roscuro lets go of the chandelier and falls into the queen’s soup bowl. (full context)
Chapter 21
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
The queen loves soup more than anything, aside from the Princess Pea and King Phillip. For this... (full context)
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
After a long silence, Roscuro says, “I beg your pardon” to the queen. The queen flings her spoon, lets loose a horrible scream, and then observes aloud that... (full context)
Chapter 22
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
...and that there’s no light for rats—there’s no light for him. Suddenly, Roscuro reaches the queen’s soup spoon. He says aloud that he might be a rat, but he’ll have a... (full context)
Chapter 23
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
...him and called him a rat. Hearing that word caused Roscuro to fall into the queen’s soup bowl, causing her to die. If the narrator might continue this exercise, because the... (full context)
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
...laws if they want to. But it’s important to remember that King Phillip loved the queen, and that he’s lost without her. Even the most powerful people can’t stop their loved... (full context)
Chapter 26
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Principles, Courage, and Growing Up Theme Icon
...Mig. Soon, the glittering thing gets close enough, and Mig sees that it’s King Phillip, Queen Rosemary , and little Princess Pea. They’re surrounded by knights and horses, all in shining armor,... (full context)
Chapter 27
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Conformity Theme Icon
...stars” that were “glittering and glowing.” Mig shouts about the princess, the king, and the queen, and she says shyly that she’d like to be a princess. Uncle laughs—Mig is too... (full context)
Chapter 29
Conformity Theme Icon
...a tapestry depicting her history. She points out King Phillip playing the guitar and the queen eating soup. Mig observes that soup is against the law, and the Pea says this... (full context)
Chapter 37
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
The Princess Pea is asleep and dreaming that the queen is holding a spoonful of soup out for the Pea to taste. The Pea declares... (full context)
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
...she doesn’t, but in truth, she recognizes him as the rat who fell in the queen’s soup, because it’s her mother’s soup spoon on Roscuro’s head. The Pea looks down, enraged.... (full context)
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
...of the soup in her dream. She whispers that she hasn’t forgotten her mother the queen—or soup. (full context)
Chapter 38
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Principles, Courage, and Growing Up Theme Icon
...hiding in Mig’s pocket, the rest of the castle sleeps. King Phillip dreams that the queen is a bird who keeps calling his name, while Cook dreams that she lost the... (full context)
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
...Roscuro for killing her mother, and there’s a huge dark spot of sadness for the queen. But Pea is also good, kind and empathetic. To be empathetic means that as the... (full context)
Chapter 39
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Principles, Courage, and Growing Up Theme Icon
...gone. Sobbing, Cook asks what kind of a world it is where princesses disappear and queens drop dead, and they can’t even have soup. Louise begs Cook to stay quiet, but... (full context)
Chapter 41
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Principles, Courage, and Growing Up Theme Icon
...is that he’s willing and able to love with his whole heart. He loved the queen and his daughter deeply, and now the Pea is gone. (full context)
Chapter 45
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Principles, Courage, and Growing Up Theme Icon
...broth, which is wonderful. This is the same soup Cook made on the day the queen died. (full context)