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 Prisoner/Mig’s Father Character Analysis

Mig’s father sells her to a man called Uncle when Mig is only six years old; in exchange he gets a red tablecloth, a hen, and some cigarettes. Years later, he’s imprisoned in the castle dungeons for stealing six cows—and Roscuro steals his red tablecloth, which he still has and which reminds him of his betrayal of Mig. By this point, Mig’s father deeply regrets his actions. At the end of the novel, the Pea has Mig’s father released from the dungeon, and Roscuro reunites him with Mig. Mig’s father treats her like a princess for the rest of his life to make up for betraying her.

The Prisoner/Mig’s Father Quotes in The Tale of Despereaux

The The Tale of Despereaux quotes below are all either spoken by The Prisoner/Mig’s Father or refer to The Prisoner/Mig’s Father. 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 17 Quotes

“A rat is a rat is a rat. End of story. World without end. Amen.”

“Yes,” said Roscuro. “Amen, I am a rat.” He closed his eyes. He saw, again, the red cloth spinning against the backdrop of gold.

And he told himself, reader, that it was the cloth that he desired and not the light.

Related Symbols: Light and Dark
Page Number: 92-93
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:
Get the entire The Tale of Despereaux LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Tale of Despereaux PDF

The Prisoner/Mig’s Father Character Timeline in The Tale of Despereaux

The timeline below shows where the character The Prisoner/Mig’s Father appears in The Tale of Despereaux. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3
Principles, Courage, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Conformity Theme Icon
Merlot is shocked and confused. She says their father is right, and Despereaux isn’t well. Once she scurries angrily away, Despereaux reaches out and... (full context)
Chapter 17
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Conformity Theme Icon
Soon after, a new prisoner arrives in the dungeon. Roscuro and Botticelli watch him come in, and Roscuro vows to... (full context)
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Conformity Theme Icon
...at the sliver of light under the door as Botticelli tells him to torture the prisoner and take the man’s red cloth. As Botticelli swings his locket, he makes Roscuro repeat... (full context)
Chapter 18
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Following Botticelli’s instructions, Roscuro goes to take the red cloth from the new prisoner. Roscuro slips through the cell bars and welcomes the man to the dungeons. The prisoner... (full context)
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Ignoring the prisoner’s protests, Roscuro drags the red cloth to his nest. Upon closer inspection, the cloth is... (full context)
Chapter 21
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
...as Roscuro, deciding it’s best to leave, starts to crawl away. But he remembers the prisoner’s regret that he didn’t look back at his daughter, so Roscuro looks back. He sees... (full context)
Chapter 23
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Conformity Theme Icon
...in the dungeon, his spoon on his head. He creates a cape out of the prisoner’s tablecloth, and Botticelli sits beside him, asking if Roscuro has learned his lesson about what... (full context)
Chapter 24
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Principles, Courage, and Growing Up Theme Icon
...Chiaroscuro or Despereaux. She’s born far away from the castle and is named after her father’s favorite prizewinning pig. When she’s six years old, Mig’s mother dies. Though Mig asks her... (full context)
Chapter 28
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
...parents in a shout, and Mig shouts back that her mother is dead and her father is missing. The soldier says he’ll take her to the castle. When Mig confirms that... (full context)
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
By now, Mig is 12 years old. Her mother is dead, her father sold her, Uncle has hit her until she’s almost deaf, and more than anything she... (full context)
Chapter 33
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Principles, Courage, and Growing Up Theme Icon
...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... (full context)
Chapter 52
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Principles, Courage, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Conformity Theme Icon
...he’s able to bring happiness to another person’s life. He tells the princess about the prisoner with the tablecloth, and the Pea has the prisoner released. Roscuro leads the man to... (full context)