Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)


Tyltyl (teel-teel), a woodcutter’s son. Dressed in a light-blue jacket, scarlet knickerbockers, and white knee-length socks, he is innocent and naïve. At the beginning of the play, which takes place during the Christmas season, he notices the abundance of gifts and cakes enjoyed by his rich neighbors. Accepting his situation without rancor and jealousy, he participates vicariously in their pleasures. The Fairy Bérylune appears at night and asks him to seek the Blue Bird needed to cure her ill daughter. Adventurous and courageous, he finds the Fairy interesting and stimulating, and he answers her questions on her grotesque appearance forthrightly and accurately. His good nature prompts him to seek the Blue Bird, and the Fairy arms him with a magic diamond that enables him to defeat possible adversaries. Along with his sister Mytyl, his dog, his cat, and everyday commodities that are anthropomorphized (for example, Bread, Sugar, Fire, Water, and Milk), he undertakes a journey leading to four successive realms. Although he becomes afraid during his encounter with the Oak and the other elements of nature seeking revenge for past human wrongs, he finds the strength and courage to endure pain and to keep his promise to the Fairy. He encourages Mytyl to share the dangers and difficulties of the quest. At the end, he returns to the security of his home. He is realistic and acknowledges his failure to capture the Blue Bird; however, he generously relinquishes his own blue bird to Madame Berlingot, who, in turn, gives it to her daughter. Cured, the neighbor’s daughter finds momentary happiness. Just as the Blue Bird eludes capture, however, Tyltyl’s bird escapes. Resigned to the situation, Tyltyl recognizes the continual need to seek the bird. By pursuing the quest of happiness, he is prepared again to...

(The entire section is 748 words.)