Lady Macbeth

Lady Macbeth

by

Susan King

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King Malcolm’s son, and father of Duncan. Crinan is never king himself, but he does his best to protect his family and his legacy, sending his warriors out on missions to kidnap, intimidate, and murder when necessary as long as it ensures the longevity of his royal bloodline. Although never confirmed, Crinan is likely responsible for Gruadh’s first kidnapping, and perhaps for Bodhe’s murder.

Crinan Quotes in Lady Macbeth

The Lady Macbeth quotes below are all either spoken by Crinan or refer to Crinan. 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 9  Quotes

At one point, King Malcolm himself carried his great-grandson and held him out to King Cnut. The prince, at two years old a sturdy handful, set up a lusty caterwauling, so that both men looked annoyed. Still, the message was clear: young Malcolm mac Duncan of Scotland had made a symbolic homage to the ruler of England.

And it was clear to those watching that in making his great-grandson pledge to England, old Malcolm was declaring that his line, grandson to son, would be kings hereafter. […]

The child’s mother, Lady Sybilla, stepped forward to take her boy from her father-by-law. I was among the retinue of women who walked with her, and she turned to give the squalling child to me. He struggled to get down, and I set him on his feet, taking his hand. He pulled me along rather like a ram dragging its shepherd. Others were amused, but I felt a strange sense, like a weight on my shoulders, on my soul.

And then, with a shudder, I knew it for an omen of the future—myself, and all of us gathered that day were linked to this moment as if by the tug of a heavy chain.

Page Number: 79
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 18  Quotes

“There must be some kind of justice and recompense for these deaths!”
“Justice will be brought,” Macbeth said low.

“When?” I asked, splaying my hands, slim fingered and beringed, on the table. Such feminine hands for such hard masculine thoughts. The urge sprang in me like a dark wolf within. I did not like it, but fed it nonetheless. It is the way of things, Bodhe would have said. “When will you avenge my kinsmen? Tomorrow? A year from now?” […]

“If one of Bodhe’s bloodline held the throne someday,” my husband then said, “it would be far more lasting revenge than bloodshed now.”

Page Number: 172
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Lady Macbeth LitChart as a printable PDF.
Lady Macbeth PDF

Crinan Character Timeline in Lady Macbeth

The timeline below shows where the character Crinan appears in Lady Macbeth. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Fate, Family, and Ambition  Theme Icon
Violence, Justice, and Revenge  Theme Icon
The attacking men belonged to Crinan, mormaer of Atholl. In King Malcolm’s judgment court, Bodhe accuses Crinan of killing Farquhar and... (full context)
Chapter 18 
Violence, Justice, and Revenge  Theme Icon
...begin.” As she and the funeral party return to Abernethy after burying the bodies, Duncan, Crinan, and a group of men approach on horseback. They represent King Malcolm and have ostensibly... (full context)
Gender Roles  Theme Icon
Fate, Family, and Ambition  Theme Icon
Violence, Justice, and Revenge  Theme Icon
...to make peace, her “men will never forget the death of their leader.” Duncan and Crinan are confused—they feel Gruadh cannot rule Fife as a woman. This frustrates Gruadh, which Macbeth... (full context)
History, Memory, and Storytelling  Theme Icon
Fate, Family, and Ambition  Theme Icon
Violence, Justice, and Revenge  Theme Icon
...who sent the men who killed Bodhe, whether it was King Malcolm, Duncan, or even Crinan. Gruadh wonders when justice will be brought. She places her hands on the table and... (full context)
Chapter 21 
Fate, Family, and Ambition  Theme Icon
...casualties on both sides. Macbeth comes to check on Gruadh and tells her he suspects Crinan sent the attackers to cut off Bodhe’s line. Gruadh wonders if it was King Malcolm... (full context)
Chapter 22 
Fate, Family, and Ambition  Theme Icon
Crinan serves as Duncan’s crowner, which, because they are father and son, “smacked of conspiracy to... (full context)
Chapter 27 
Magic, Tradition, and Religion  Theme Icon
Fate, Family, and Ambition  Theme Icon
Violence, Justice, and Revenge  Theme Icon
...finally joins her and announces he will be crowned High King of Scots. Everyone but Crinan, who is not present, has agreed he is the best choice. Macbeth explains that, since... (full context)
Chapter 28 
Gender Roles  Theme Icon
Magic, Tradition, and Religion  Theme Icon
Fate, Family, and Ambition  Theme Icon
Violence, Justice, and Revenge  Theme Icon
Later that winter Macbeth debates whether or not to kill Duncan’s young children, who Crinan has recently smuggled out of Scotland. Some advisors insist these children should be killed, and... (full context)
Chapter 29 
Magic, Tradition, and Religion  Theme Icon
Fate, Family, and Ambition  Theme Icon
Violence, Justice, and Revenge  Theme Icon
Gruadh reflects on past battles—Macbeth killed Crinan six years earlier, and bested the Earl of Siward, uncle of Malcolm mac Duncan and... (full context)