Lady Macbeth

Lady Macbeth

by

Susan King

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Dolina Character Analysis

Bodhe’s wife and mistress, who he marries after the death of his first wife, Ailsa. Dolina is a fairly traditional woman, who manages the household and complies with her husband’s requests, and therefore expects Gruadh, her stepdaughter, to be a similar model of medieval womanhood. Her relationship with Gruadh is occasionally antagonistic, as Gruadh is not satisfied with being confined to the home, and wants to learn Celtic magic, which the devoutly Christian Dolina disapproves of, as well as sword craft. Still, she loves Gruadh and helps prepare her for special events like her betrothal and wedding, and sends her gifts once she has moved away. After Bodhe’s death Dolina leaves Abernethy, where she had spent most of her time, and lives on one of Gruadh’s remaining holdings in Fife.

Dolina Quotes in Lady Macbeth

The Lady Macbeth quotes below are all either spoken by Dolina or refer to Dolina. 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 19  Quotes

“The old legends are filled with such women—the great Irish queen, Macha, and Princess Scathach of Skye, who trained warriors in her fighting school, and also her sister Aoife, who bested Cu Chulainn and bore his son […] Celtic women have fought beside their men since before the names of kings were remembered. And even though Rome forbids Gaelic women to fight, it is rightful enough according to our customs.”

“They forbid with good reason,” Maeve said, bouncing Lulach on her lap. “Women have enough to do and should not have to go out and fight men’s battles, too.” […]

“The eyes of the Church cannot easily see beyond the mountains of the Gaels,” I said, “where warlike behavior in a woman is not sinful heresy, and is sometimes even necessary.” And I remembered my early vows—as a girl taking up a sword to defend herself, as a woman swearing on a sword to defend her own. Another facet of my obligation to my long legacy came clear: if others were so set on eliminating my line, and I and Lulach the last of it, then I would be steadfast as any warrior.

Related Characters: Gruadh / Rue / Lady Macbeth (speaker), Aella (speaker), Bethoc (speaker), Maeve (speaker), Bodhe , Lulach , Dolina, Scathach of Skye
Page Number: 177
Explanation and Analysis:
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Lady Macbeth PDF

Dolina Character Timeline in Lady Macbeth

The timeline below shows where the character Dolina appears in Lady Macbeth. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3
History, Memory, and Storytelling  Theme Icon
Gender Roles  Theme Icon
Magic, Tradition, and Religion  Theme Icon
...daggers. Still, she is expected to tend to domestic duties as well. She learns from Dolina, Bodhe’s mistress, how to run a household. She and her friend Drostan learn reading, numbers,... (full context)
Chapter 6
Gender Roles  Theme Icon
Fate, Family, and Ambition  Theme Icon
Violence, Justice, and Revenge  Theme Icon
...fight finally ends when Gilcomgan stumbles into Gruadh and Bodhe forces the men to stop. Dolina takes Gilcomgan to treat his wound, and Gruadh tells Bodhe that she will not marry... (full context)
Chapter 8 
Gender Roles  Theme Icon
Magic, Tradition, and Religion  Theme Icon
According to the Roman church, women practicing swordplay is heresy, and so Dolina forbids Gruadh from practice in advance of her wedding. Bodhe doesn’t believe sword-fighting will put... (full context)
Magic, Tradition, and Religion  Theme Icon
Fate, Family, and Ambition  Theme Icon
Overwhelmed by Dolina’s wedding preparations, Gruadh visits her cousin Bethoc and Bethoc’s mother Mairi, who live in the... (full context)
Gender Roles  Theme Icon
...soon be married to Gilcomgan, “it is time” she see “more of the world.” Although Dolina disapproves of the armor as much as she disapproves of Gruadh’s sword training, Gruadh recognizes... (full context)
Chapter 10 
Gender Roles  Theme Icon
Fate, Family, and Ambition  Theme Icon
Dolina polishes and scrubs the household at Abernethy in preparation for the wedding. Dolina has Gruadh... (full context)
Gender Roles  Theme Icon
Magic, Tradition, and Religion  Theme Icon
Fate, Family, and Ambition  Theme Icon
...but instead she has a Christian one. That night, after a lively feast and celebration, Dolina and Graudh’s women help her undress and bathe. Dolina places small trinkets of protection around... (full context)
Chapter 15 
Fate, Family, and Ambition  Theme Icon
Violence, Justice, and Revenge  Theme Icon
...and an envoy from Fife arrive late in the winter. They also bring gifts from Dolina. Gruadh is happy to be reunited with friends and to be reminded of home. She... (full context)
Chapter 18 
Fate, Family, and Ambition  Theme Icon
Violence, Justice, and Revenge  Theme Icon
At the wedding Gruadh is excited to see Bodhe, Dolina, and Malcolm mac Farquhar, her nephew. She still feels some resentment towards her father, though,... (full context)
Chapter 19 
Gender Roles  Theme Icon
Fate, Family, and Ambition  Theme Icon
Violence, Justice, and Revenge  Theme Icon
...unhappy, but glad to own a small part of Fife—some of which she gives to Dolina who she is sure will want to leave Abernethy once Duff arrives. (full context)
Chapter 27 
History, Memory, and Storytelling  Theme Icon
In her early days as queen Gruadh first visits Dolina, and then Drostan in his monastery. Gruadh invites him to come and be a royal... (full context)