Lady Macbeth

Lady Macbeth

by

Susan King

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Catriona of Kinlossie Character Analysis

A healer and widow who is also Macbeth’s childhood friend and mistress. Catriona helps Gruadh give birth to her son, Lulach, and then becomes her friend and confidant. However, when Gruadh discovers Macbeth has been sleeping with Catriona, their friendship falls apart. Although the two women never become close again, once Macbeth promises to break off the affair, they eventually reconcile their differences.

Catriona of Kinlossie Quotes in Lady Macbeth

The Lady Macbeth quotes below are all either spoken by Catriona of Kinlossie or refer to Catriona of Kinlossie . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
History, Memory, and Storytelling  Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Three Rivers Press edition of Lady Macbeth published in 2008.
Chapter 17  Quotes

“Men,” Catriona said, “understand life and death differently than women. Ours is to give birth, life, and comfort. We cannot bring ourselves to take life, knowing its struggle and value.”

Somehow this saintly show of opinion irritated me. “If I had to kill to save a life, mine or my son’s,” I said, “I would do it.”

“Rue is trained at arms,” Bethoc said proudly.

“Lady Gruadh has a stiffer backbone than I do,” Catriona said. “It is my work to bring life into this world. My heart is far too tender to destroy it.”

“That is not my intent,” I defended. “The lady of a powerful region must have a martial spirit as well as a virtuous one. I would not hesitate to put on armor and take up a sword, if such was needed for the good of all.”

Related Characters: Gruadh / Rue / Lady Macbeth (speaker), Catriona of Kinlossie (speaker), Bethoc (speaker), Macbeth, Lulach
Page Number: 147
Explanation and Analysis:

Yet I had to master my temper, as he had done, and stay. Obligation to my kin group demanded that I remain with Moray’s new mormaer, who had no equal among other warlords. Fate had set me in this situation, after all.
I frowned, for he left something unsaid. “What purpose do you see in this union?”

One hand on the door, he turned back. “Together we can tap the power of your legacy and mine,” he said quietly, “and take Scotland under our rule.”

There. He said outright what I, and others, suspected. I straightened my shoulders. This, then, was what Bodhe wanted, and what generations of my kin deserved in their honor. “A thing like that turns on loyalty,” I said, “or falters for lack of it.”

He nodded. “It does.”

“Well enough,” I said, watching him. An agreement of sorts.

Related Characters: Gruadh / Rue / Lady Macbeth (speaker), Macbeth (speaker), Bodhe , Catriona of Kinlossie
Page Number: 153
Explanation and Analysis:
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Catriona of Kinlossie Character Timeline in Lady Macbeth

The timeline below shows where the character Catriona of Kinlossie appears in Lady Macbeth. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 14 
Magic, Tradition, and Religion  Theme Icon
Fate, Family, and Ambition  Theme Icon
Violence, Justice, and Revenge  Theme Icon
...Macbeth eventually goes for a midwife himself. She arrives hours later and introduces herself as Catriona. Like Maeve and Aella, Catriona also prays to the goddess Brigid and performs rituals, but... (full context)
Chapter 15 
Violence, Justice, and Revenge  Theme Icon
Catriona returns home to her son. She is a widow and although she has had marriage... (full context)
Chapter 17 
Violence, Justice, and Revenge  Theme Icon
Catriona returns to Elgin in May to help with the birth of another child. Bethoc remains... (full context)
Gender Roles  Theme Icon
Violence, Justice, and Revenge  Theme Icon
Bethoc, Aella, Gruadh, and Catriona discuss the prospect of Macbeth becoming king. Bethoc notes he would have to fight a... (full context)
Gender Roles  Theme Icon
Violence, Justice, and Revenge  Theme Icon
Gruadh continues to argue with Catriona, who claims she “cast no blame” when her husband died. Catriona adds that women are... (full context)
Violence, Justice, and Revenge  Theme Icon
Gruadh realizes she is close to Catriona’s home, and decides to visit to mend their friendship. However, when she arrives she sees... (full context)
Violence, Justice, and Revenge  Theme Icon
...with her “personal enemy” Thorfin, of killing Gilcomgan, and of bringing his “mistress” and “whore” Catriona into their home under false pretenses. (full context)
Gender Roles  Theme Icon
Violence, Justice, and Revenge  Theme Icon
Macbeth tries to explain he and Catriona have been friends their whole lives and “sometimes sought comfort in the other.” Gruadh angrily... (full context)
Chapter 21 
Violence, Justice, and Revenge  Theme Icon
...in a tenant’s house and Gruadh goes to see him. She is surprised to find Catriona already there. She urges Macbeth to return to Elgin with her, but cannot share a... (full context)
Chapter 25 
Fate, Family, and Ambition  Theme Icon
Violence, Justice, and Revenge  Theme Icon
Macbeth convalesces in bed. Bethoc does what she can, but Gruadh realizes she needs Catriona’s expertise. Catriona arrives and begins to care for Macbeth. Weak as he is, Macbeth is... (full context)
Chapter 28 
Gender Roles  Theme Icon
Fate, Family, and Ambition  Theme Icon
Violence, Justice, and Revenge  Theme Icon
...she has done all she can for Gruadh’s fertility, and the pair decide to visit Catriona. (full context)
Violence, Justice, and Revenge  Theme Icon
Catriona is surprised to see Gruadh, but gracious. As they talk Gruadh begins to warm to... (full context)
Chapter 30 
Magic, Tradition, and Religion  Theme Icon
Fate, Family, and Ambition  Theme Icon
Violence, Justice, and Revenge  Theme Icon
...crowner, would not crown him. After Macbeth’s defeat he returned to Elgin, where Gruadh and Catriona treated his wounds—specifically a blow to the eye that left him half-blind, similar to the... (full context)