The Mysterious Man

The Mysterious Man

The Mysterious Man is a fictional character from the 1986 play Into the Woods. In the 1987 Broadway production, he was performed by Tom Aldredge, who also played the role of the narrator.


The Mysterious Man first appears in the woods as Jack is going to market with Milky-White. While the intentions of the Mysterious Man are unknown, he does reveal certain knowledge of Jack, such as his name and what he intends to do with Milky-White. After insulting his mother, he disappears. He appears again when the Baker and the Baker's Wife attempt to buy Milky-White in order to lift a spell that will allow them to have children; the Mysterious Man repeats his earlier insult and disappears as they buy the cow. He then makes a brief appearance during "First Midnight."

The Mysterious Man and the Baker meet for the first time in Scene Three, where the Mysterious Man causes him to wonder how far he is willing to go to have children. He then steals the Baker's gold and disappears, just as the Baker learns that his wife has lost Milky-White. Against his earlier personality, the Mysterious Man finds Milky-White and returns her to the Baker. He is then attacked by the Witch who cast the spell on the Baker's family; although the Mysterious Man claims otherwise, the Witch believes he is trying to disrupt the reversal of the spell.

When Milky-White dies, the Mysterious Man appears again and gives the Baker enough gold to buy another cow. He appears again when the Baker's Wife and the Steward are fighting over the golden slipper; the Mysterious Man claims that all will come to a happy ending if the Baker's Wife receives the slipper. He helps again by telling them to feed the hair of corn to the revived Milky-White, and this creates the magic potion the Baker needs. Before drinking the potion, the Witch reveals that the Mysterious Man is the Baker's father; the Witch drinks the magic potion as the Mysterious Man suddenly dies.

In Act II, the Baker is blessed with a child, but his wife is nevertheless killed by a giant. The Mysterious Man's spirit appears, but the Baker rejects him, upset that he abandoned him as a child and provoked the Witch's anger, causing all of the Baker's resultant problems ("No More"). Granting his son's wish, the Mysterious Man abandons him. He appears for a final time when the people killed in the events return, giving his son a final moral before disappearing forever.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • The Demolished Man —   …   Wikipedia

  • The Signal-Man — is a short story by Charles Dickens, first published as part of the Mugby Junction collection in the 1866 Christmas edition of All the Year Round .The signal man of the title tells the narrator of a ghost that has been haunting him. Each spectral …   Wikipedia

  • The Thin Man — (1934) is a hardboiled detective novel by Dashiell Hammett. Although he never wrote a sequel, the book became the basis for a successful film series which also began in 1934 with The Thin Man and starred William Powell and Myrna Loy. A Thin Man… …   Wikipedia

  • The Invisible Man — For other uses, see The Invisible Man (disambiguation). The Invisible Man   …   Wikipedia

  • The Grinning Man — Infobox Paranormalcreatures Creature Name = The Grinning Man Grouping = Cryptid Extraterrestrial Sub Grouping = AKA = Country = United States Region = Elizabeth, New Jersey Habitat = Unknown First Reported = October 11, 1966 Last Sighted =… …   Wikipedia

  • The Clockwise Man — Doctorwhobook title=The Clockwise Man series=New Series Adventures number=1 featuring=Ninth Doctor Rose writer=Justin Richards publisher=BBC Books isbn=ISBN 0 563 48628 7 set between=The Unquiet Dead and The Empty Child pages= date=May 2005… …   Wikipedia

  • The Illustrated Man — Infobox Book name = The Illustrated Man title orig = translator = image caption = Dust jacket from the first edition author = Ray Bradbury illustrator = cover artist = country = United States language = English series = genre = Science fiction… …   Wikipedia

  • The Smoking Man — Cancer Man redirects here. For the Breaking Bad episode, see Cancer Man (Breaking Bad). Smoking Man William B. Davis as the Smoking Man First appearance Pilot …   Wikipedia

  • The Shadow Man — Infobox Television episode Title = The Shadow Man Series = The Twilight Zone Caption = scene from The Shadow Man Season = 1 Episode = 10, Segment 1 Airdate = November 29, 1985 Production = Writer = Rockne S. O Bannon Director = Joe Dante Guests …   Wikipedia

  • The Mysterious Mr. Quin —   …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”