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.

The Most Very Honored Head Mouse Character Analysis

The Most Very Honored Head Mouse is the head of the Mouse Council. He’s an old mouse whose job it is to make sure that all mice who live in the castle are following the rules of mouse conduct exactly. The Head Mouse is unwilling to see nuance or consider anything that isn’t black and white, so when Despereaux is brought before the Mouse Council, it doesn’t matter to the Head Mouse that Despereaux broke the rules for good, noble reasons.

The Most Very Honored Head Mouse Quotes in The Tale of Despereaux

The The Tale of Despereaux quotes below are all either spoken by The Most Very Honored Head Mouse or refer to The Most Very Honored Head Mouse. 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 10 Quotes

“Did you break them?”

“Yes, sir,” said Despereaux. He raised his voice. “But…I broke the rules for good reasons. Because of music. And because of love.”

“Love!” said the Head Mouse.

“Oh cripes,” said Furlough. “Here we go.”

“I love her, sir,” said Despereaux.

“We are not here to talk about love. This trial is not about love. This trial is about you being a mouse,” shouted the Most Very Honored Head Mouse from high atop the bricks, “and not acting like one!!!”

Page Number: 54
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 11 Quotes

How, he wondered, had things gone so terribly wrong? Wasn’t it a good thing to love? In the story in the book, love was a very good thing. Because the knight loved the fair maiden, he was able to rescue her. They lived happily ever after. It said so. In the book. They were the last words on the page. Happily ever after. Despereaux was certain that he had read exactly those words time and time again.

Lying on the floor with the drum beating and the mice shouting and the threadmaster calling out, “Make way, make way,” Despereaux had a sudden, chilling thought: Had some other mouse eaten the words that spoke the truth? Did the knight and the fair maiden really not live happily ever after?

Related Symbols: The Knight in Shining Armor
Page Number: 57-58
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Tale of Despereaux LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Tale of Despereaux PDF

The Most Very Honored Head Mouse Character Timeline in The Tale of Despereaux

The timeline below shows where the character The Most Very Honored Head Mouse appears in The Tale of Despereaux. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 8
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Conformity Theme Icon
The Mouse Council—which is made up of 13 mice and a Most Very Honored Head Mouse —gather at the sound of Lester’s drum. They meet in a hole off of King... (full context)
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
The Head Mouse says Despereaux needs to go to the dungeon and to the rats. He announces a... (full context)
Chapter 10
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Principles, Courage, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Conformity Theme Icon
...in the crowd shouts that Despereaux should be sent immediately to the dungeon, but the Most Very Honored Head Mouse calls for order. He asks Despereaux to look at him and explains that they’ll first... (full context)
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Conformity Theme Icon
The Head Mouse calls for silence and then asks if Despereaux broke the rules of mouse conduct. Despereaux... (full context)
Conformity Theme Icon
The Most Very Honored Head Mouse says that Despereaux will have the option to renounce and repent, or say he’s sorry... (full context)
Chapter 40
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Conformity Theme Icon
...Pea’s room, he comes upon the Mouse Council deep in conversation. He stops and the Most Very Honored Head Mouse sees him. The Head Mouse says Despereaux’s name and then shakily points and says it’s... (full context)
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
...and he says that it was wrong to send Despereaux to his death. As the Head Mouse protests, Lester says he destroyed the Mouse Council drum and asks for forgiveness. Despereaux stares... (full context)
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Principles, Courage, and Growing Up Theme Icon
...Mouse Council that they were wrong. Now, they must renounce their misdeeds and repent. The Head Mouse refuses. (full context)
Principles, Courage, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Conformity Theme Icon
...never know—and what they think of him doesn’t matter. So, Despereaux leaves the room. The Head Mouse shakily says that a ghost has visited them, and he holds a vote to decide... (full context)