- “Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.”
- ―King Mongkut
Mongkut, also known as King Rama IV, reigning title Phra Chom Klao Chao Yu Hua (Thai: พระบาทสมเด็จพระปรเมนทรมหามงกุฎ พระจอมเกล้าเจ้าอยู่หัว Phra Bat Somdet Phra Poramenthra Maha Mongkut Phra Chom Klao Chao Yu Hua 18 October 1804 – 1 October 1868), was the fourth monarch of Siam (Thailand) under the House of Chakri, ruling from 1851 to 1868.
Outside Thailand, he is best known as the king in the 1951 musical and 1956 film The King and I, based on the 1946 film Anna and the King of Siam – in turn based on a 1944 novel by an American missionary about Anna Leonowens' years at his court, from 1862 to 1867.
During his reign, the pressure of Western expansionism was felt for the first time in Siam. Mongkut embraced Western innovations and initiated the modernization of his country, both in technology and culture—earning him the nickname "The Father of Science and Technology" in Siam.
Mongkut was also known for his appointing his brother, Prince Chutamani, as Second King, crowned in 1851 as King Pinklao. Mongkut himself assured the country that Pinklao should be respected with equal honor to himself (as King Naresuan had done with his brother Ekathotsarot in 1583). Mongkut's reign was also the time when the power of the House of Bunnag reached its zenith and became the most powerful noble family of Siam.
He is a fictional character, the King of Siam, father of Prince Chulalongkorn and the Royal Children, and the deuteragonist from the 1999 animated film, The King and I.
King Mongkut, ruler of the Kingdom of Siam, is an absolute monarch bound to uphold the great traditions of his country's rich heritage and history. But Mongkut is also a self-taught visionary and a man of science. He realized that the world is changing, and must prove Siam to be a civilized country ready to take its place among the great western nations. He finds himself struggling with one foot in the past and the other in the future.
Siam must be modernized, but the city's change is difficult. The independent, and compassionate thinking English schoolteacher, Anna that was hired to teach the Royal children will be an important part of that change. While Mongkut is initially outraged by Anna's strong independent will, he finds himself attracted to her and impressed by her as well. Anna discovers underneath rough facade a kind and warm father who loves his children and wants the best future for his people.
Describing Mongkut's personality, he is strict, rude, fatherly, unforgettable, headstrong and imperious. But on the other hand of his personality, he used to be arrogant, stubborn, serious, angry, short-tempered and barbaric.
Describing his appearance, he is slender and muscular with tan skin, bald head, black eyebrows, brown eyes and also wears the Royal Pendant on his neck.
He usually wears his red waist-length robe with gold trimming, brown belt with a gold buckle with a emerald center that holds his red pants, and brown sandals.
Role in the film
- (in response to Anna's request before he returns to his throne) "You teach in palace, you live in palace."
- (praying to Buddha) Buddha, please help Anna keep awake for scientific preparation of banquet, even though she is a woman and a Christian and therefore unworthy of your interest.
- (Upon learning from the Kralahome that Anna took his children outside the palace) What, what, what?! Royal children outside palace?!
- (telling Anna about the respect to the king) When I shall sit, you sit. And when I shall kneel, you kneel. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. As promised?
Differences from the source material