The Tail of Despereaux

Hero's Journey

The Departure

Meeting with the Goddess: Despereaux is lured out of his home by the "sweet sound" of music and while listening, meets Princess Pea. Princess Pea shows kindness and love to Despereaux, who instantly falls in love with her.

Call to Adventure: In an act of love, Despereaux breaks one of the ancient rules of mice by speaking to Princess Pea. Upon hearing of Despereaux's rule breaking, the Mouse Council summons him.

Crossing the Threshold: Despereaux is exiled by the Mouse Council to the dungeon after speaking to Princess Pea and is led down into the darkness by his own brother, Furlough.

Belly of the Whale: Despereaux is forced to tell a story to Gregory the jailer while in the dungeon in order to survive.

The Initiation

The Road of Trials: Despereaux must avoid being killed by the cook and while racing to get away, his tail is chopped off by a kitchen knife. He also must try to get the king to listen to his pleas and help him in saving the princess. Despereaux is also laughed at when he runs into the cook for the second time and he tells her of his quest.

Allies: Gregory the jailer, Hovis the threadmaster, Princess Pea

Enemies: Roscuro, Botticelli, other rats in dungeon, Cook, Miggery Sow,

Atonement with Father: After narrowly escaping death in the dungeon, Despereaux meets with his father again. Rather than the son better understanding the father, however, it is Despereaux's father who better understands him after he has nightmares from beating the drum that sent Despereaux to his death.

Woman as Temptress: Standing at the top of the stairs that lead into the seemingly endless darkness of the dungeon, Despereaux has second thoughts about completing his mission and quickly contemplates staying in the light.

Supreme Ordeal: After entering the dungeon, Despereaux is led to Princess Pea by Botticelli and, in order to save the princess, threatens to kill Roscuro with his sewing needle. Luckily, Princess Pea intervenes and calms the situation down by offering everyone some soup upstairs.

The Return

The Magic Flight: Despereaux has an easy travel home, where no new problems arise.

Rescue from Without: Despereaux and Princess Pea are led out of the dungeon by Miggery Sow and Roscuro.

Crossing the Return Threshold: Despereaux returns home and is able to live as a friend of Princess Pea's, while Roscuro is allowed to travel between the light of the upstairs and the darkness of the dungeons.

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