Mrs. Lovett winds up being a mother figure to Toby and a collaborator in Sweeney’s desperate plan to avenge his family, while carefully pruning the truth to ensure he remains emotionally attached to her and doesn’t go in search of his wife. She always had a “soft spot for him, I did,” so she doesn’t tell him that his wife is alive and wandering on the street. Instead, she helps him come up with better plans to target the judge who threw him into prison, raped his wife (and in so doing, caused her to commit attempted suicide), and then convinces him to let her keep “a boy what never done anyone any harm.” Immediately upon seeing Toby, she admits that she doesn’t like to see a boy treated like that. She wants to save him after his master is murdered, finding an excuse to keep him around the house, and nurturing him with as many meat pies as he can eat. Mrs. Lovett encourages him to be less reckless in his designs by singing that “all good things come to those who can wait,” inferring that her own patience and pining for his memory (even keeping his razors when she could have sold them) has now brought him back to her. Mrs. Lovett has an idealistic notion that the three of them will have a normal, prosperous life after his revenge is done – and sings about a nice little cottage by the sea, where they are married and can have friends to tea, showing that all her dreams are realistic (in her mid), though somewhat naïve. She just assumes he will stay with her, that he will be party to marriage, that he will legitimize their “rumpled bedding,” by choosing to see the best in him, despite his murderous inclinations. Her own sociopathic behavior shows in, when she finds out he has killed someone and intends to slaughter half of London, that she forces him to think of the “practicality” of it. She isn’t making any money because no one wants her awful pies. But good meat would make her pies better, so she can make money! Mrs. Lovett goes on to encourage him in this practice and make money off it. And even though she doesn’t like the idea of them killing Toby, she is still willing to do it when he comes too near the truth and warns her that Sweeney isn’t a good person and might hurt them both. Mrs. Lovett is too emotionally attached to Sweeney, however, to think clearly – when she finds he has cut his wife’s throat in the basement, she hasn’t the sense to run for her life. He is even able to soothe her fears while dancing with her, long enough for her to let down her guard, before he throws her into the furnace for her sins. Her own emotions blinded her to his violent, sadistic tendencies, and she never once assumed he might turn on her the instant he found out about her treachery.

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Mrs. Lovett has a magical ability to “become” whatever she thinks will attract Sweeney the most, and she does it through offering to help him as a sideline. She wants to have a prosperous business and it bothers her that the competition up the street manages to outsell her, even though she admits plainly that her pies are awful and enough to make people sick. She unscrupulously sees the potential in Todd, both in keeping him around and in making use of his random murders; she turns around and makes a tidy profit off cannibalism. She plays a different role with people – with Todd, a nurturing figure and fellow murderer, and with Toby, a sweet and innocent mother figure. She’s doing it to attract love from both of them, and uses her 2 wing to come up with helpful, resourceful ways to accomplish this through attention, reassurance, mothering, and food, while expecting them to adore her in return.