Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Discussion Questions: Tale of Despereaux

Received in my mailbox:
Here are discussion questions for the film, "The Tale of Despereaux," which opens this weekend. They were compiled by Mary Pride of "Practical Homeschooling" and Laura Berquist, Headmaster of Mother of Divine Grace School. I'm very grateful
for their efforts.


John Seel, Ph.D.


Discussion Questions Despereaux
1. What quality or qualities make Despereaux different than those around him?
2. How are Despereaux's unusual physical qualities related to his moral
3. How do Despereaux's unusual qualities serve him in his quest?

Good and Evil
1. What was the greatest good done in The Tale of Despereaux, and what was the
greatest evil?
2. How is good brought out of evil in this story?
3. What causes the rain to fall again, the sun to shine, and the king to leave
his dark room?
4. What plunges the Kingdom of Dor into darkness and how is the light restored?
5. How are the wrongs done in the story rectified? What single quality most
changes the various unhappy situations for the better?
6. Who (or Which character) in The Tale of Despereaux is responsible for the
restoration of the Kingdom of Dor?

1. Despereaux ignores the rules of his people. Why? Does he live by any rules?
(Remember that a rule is a measure of action.)
2. What most motivates Despereaux in all his actions?
3. Do other characters share the vision Despereaux has, either from the
beginning or intermittently?
4. The movie says that when we are hurt, sometimes we look for someone or
something to blame. Was the king wise to blame soup and rats for his grief? What
should he have done instead?
5. Several characters in the movie pursue their dreams. Is it always good to
have a dream, or are some dreams distractions from our real callings and
temptations to envy others?
6. After the queen died, it seemed all the king did was sit around, play sad
tunes, look at her picture, and cry. Is this how a king should behave?

1. Does Despereaux fulfill his quest to tell the Princess the end of the story?
2. Does the story that Despereaux reads have an end?

Other Characters
1. What quality in the Princess prevents her from ever being truly imprisoned?
Do others in the story have that same quality?
2. What does it mean to be a princess? Princess Pea is a princess. Is Mig a
3. Why couldn't the king, sitting in his dark room and playing his music, hear
4. Why and how did the king shut out the light from his kingdom?
5. Why does Roscuro abandon his quest and how does he find it again?
6. What is the role of Boldo in The Tale of Despereaux? Does he help achieve the

Special thanks to Laura Berquist, Mary Pride, and John Seel for writing these
discussion questions.

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