Lady Macbeth

Lady Macbeth

by

Susan King

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Lady Macbeth can help.
Gruadh’s son with her first husband, Gilcomgan. Lulach never meets his father, who is killed by Macbeth, his stepfather, months before his birth. Lulach is always interested in war and fighting, and Macbeth begins to train him early. Lulach is the only one of Gruadh’s children to survive into to adulthood, so she is protective of him but knows there is only so much he can do, especially since he wants to be a warrior. He marries Ingebjorg, with whom he has two children. After his stepfather, Macbeth, is murdered, Lulach is crowned king. Although Malcolm mac Duncan, who is the one to murder Macbeth, refuses to accept Lulach’s authority, he is, for a few months at least, the King of Scotland.

Lulach Quotes in Lady Macbeth

The Lady Macbeth quotes below are all either spoken by Lulach or refer to Lulach . 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:
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:
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:
Chapter 21  Quotes

“Your husband Macbeth will be remembered among the greatest of his ilk, the kings of Scotland,” she said. “One of your sons will be a warrior. Not the others.”

“Others,” I repeated, pleased. “Monks, then, or abbots? Bards, perhaps.”

“They will not be,” she murmured slowly, eyes very dark, “warriors.”

A shiver slipped down my spine. […]

“Carry this warning to your husband. I have told him the same, but tell him again from me. Beware the son of the warrior whose spilled blood will make him a king.”

I stared. Her cloak, when she turned, was a swirl of utter blackness, so that I stepped back for fear the portal to the other side, open that night, might overtake me.

I did not repeat her message to Macbeth.

Page Number: 203
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 26  Quotes

“I made a sword vow years ago to protect my own, and I will keep it. I have a home and a son to protect, and I have a husband to support as best I can. All my life I have lived a female among Celtic warriors. My sword arm is trained, my bow and arrow are swift, and I have already bloodied the blade. Know this—my determination is in place. I will go with you.”

Macbeth took my horse’s bridle. “Each one who rides with me contributes to the whole. Your skill I will not argue, but your fortitude is little tested. You would require guards to protect you, and that detracts from the whole.”

“Have you not made it your purpose to uphold the old ways, the ancient ways, of the Gaels and the Celts?” The horse shifted under me, and I pulled the reins. Macbeth still held the bridle. “Celtic women have always fought beside their men.”

Page Number: 260
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Lady Macbeth LitChart as a printable PDF.
Lady Macbeth PDF

Lulach Character Timeline in Lady Macbeth

The timeline below shows where the character Lulach 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
...in the womb.  With Maeve and Aella’s help, Catriona and Gruadh finally deliver a healthy baby boy. Relieved, Gruadh returns to bed. Macbeth visits his wife and stepson, and for the... (full context)
Fate, Family, and Ambition  Theme Icon
Macbeth jokes that the baby looks just like Gruadh, and luckily looks nothing like Gilcomgan. Gruadh agrees that the baby... (full context)
Chapter 15 
Fate, Family, and Ambition  Theme Icon
Gruadh names her son Lulach. It is the name of one of her ancestors. Although Maeve comments it is “a... (full context)
Magic, Tradition, and Religion  Theme Icon
...One day the bard asks to speak with both Gruadh and Macbeth in preparation for Lulach’s baptism. As they prepare to meet Dermot Macbeth asks Gruadh is she will give her... (full context)
History, Memory, and Storytelling  Theme Icon
Magic, Tradition, and Religion  Theme Icon
Fate, Family, and Ambition  Theme Icon
...Dermot is a fathach, or prophet, and has made a star map of the day Lulach was born, which can be used to divine his future. Macbeth had his own future... (full context)
History, Memory, and Storytelling  Theme Icon
Magic, Tradition, and Religion  Theme Icon
Fate, Family, and Ambition  Theme Icon
Dermot arrives and tells Gruadh what he has seen—Lulach will live happily until twenty. He will be a good and brave man and will... (full context)
Magic, Tradition, and Religion  Theme Icon
Fate, Family, and Ambition  Theme Icon
Lulach has his naming ceremony, which, according to custom, Gruadh is not allowed to attend. Maeve... (full context)
Chapter 16 
Magic, Tradition, and Religion  Theme Icon
Fate, Family, and Ambition  Theme Icon
Violence, Justice, and Revenge  Theme Icon
...takes the stone Una gave her and turns it into a piece of jewelry for Lulach to wear to protect him. (full context)
Chapter 17 
Violence, Justice, and Revenge  Theme Icon
One day Macbeth and Gruadh lock eyes as Macbeth plays with Lulach. Gruadh recognizes that he “yearns” for her, and that night he visits her room. He... (full context)
Gender Roles  Theme Icon
Violence, Justice, and Revenge  Theme Icon
...and value.” Gruadh pushes back. She says if killing someone would save her life or Lulach’s, she would do it. (full context)
Chapter 18 
History, Memory, and Storytelling  Theme Icon
Fate, Family, and Ambition  Theme Icon
...of the significant men and women in Gruadh’s linage, from her ancestors to Bodhe to Lulach. She realizes Lulach will never be fully safe until King Malcolm, his children, his grandchildren,... (full context)
Fate, Family, and Ambition  Theme Icon
Violence, Justice, and Revenge  Theme Icon
...someone from Bodhe’s bloodline in a position of power would be better revenge. Gruadh complains Lulach will not be old enough to fight for years, but Macbeth clarifies he’s talking about... (full context)
Chapter 19 
Gender Roles  Theme Icon
...his territory to curry favor with his people. Gruadh spends much of her time with Lulach. She prays daily, and occasionally finds time to practice with her sword. (full context)
Gender Roles  Theme Icon
Magic, Tradition, and Religion  Theme Icon
Violence, Justice, and Revenge  Theme Icon
That winter Lulach takes his first steps, and sometime later Gruadh is pregnant again. She prays to the... (full context)
Chapter 20 
Gender Roles  Theme Icon
Fate, Family, and Ambition  Theme Icon
Violence, Justice, and Revenge  Theme Icon
...envoy of eighty men on horseback set out to survey Moray. Gruadh insists on brining Lulach so she can look after him, to prove to observers that she and Macbeth have... (full context)
Chapter 21 
Fate, Family, and Ambition  Theme Icon
Violence, Justice, and Revenge  Theme Icon
...him. One of Macbeth’s men then grabs Gruadh and brings her towards the cart where Lulach is. Gruadh realizes the attackers are trying to kill her son. She holds him close... (full context)
Magic, Tradition, and Religion  Theme Icon
Fate, Family, and Ambition  Theme Icon
...recognizes the two men are her sons with Macbeth but is surprised not to see Lulach. She tries to catch up with the ship but fails. (full context)
Magic, Tradition, and Religion  Theme Icon
Fate, Family, and Ambition  Theme Icon
...truth’s she doesn’t want to hear. She decides to bury the little crystal Una gave Lulach for protection, and to try to forget what Una said. (full context)
Chapter 23 
History, Memory, and Storytelling  Theme Icon
Gender Roles  Theme Icon
Magic, Tradition, and Religion  Theme Icon
...warriors, and marching by Macbeth’s side makes both of them seem strong, “for Moray, for Lulach. And Scotland.” Finn eventually agrees. (full context)
Chapter 24
Magic, Tradition, and Religion  Theme Icon
Fate, Family, and Ambition  Theme Icon
...a queen.” He tells Gruadh that if they never have a son, he will make Lulach his heir. He adds that Lulach, because of laws of Celtic succession, would be his... (full context)
Chapter 25 
Gender Roles  Theme Icon
Magic, Tradition, and Religion  Theme Icon
Fate, Family, and Ambition  Theme Icon
Violence, Justice, and Revenge  Theme Icon
...Gruadh misses him. Gruadh spends her time embroidering, mostly images of battles, which fascinate young Lulach. His interest in violence frightens her, and she tries to distract him with “books and... (full context)
Chapter 28 
Gender Roles  Theme Icon
Fate, Family, and Ambition  Theme Icon
Violence, Justice, and Revenge  Theme Icon
...Macbeth move to a new fortress, Kincardine O’Neil. Gruadh briefly returns to Elgin to fetch Lulach, but she also takes the time to work on fulfilling what she sees as her... (full context)
Gender Roles  Theme Icon
Magic, Tradition, and Religion  Theme Icon
Fate, Family, and Ambition  Theme Icon
Violence, Justice, and Revenge  Theme Icon
...promise to Lady Sybilla and her own pregnancy. She leaves the room to bring in Lulach. She points out that he is so young, the same age as young Malcolm mac... (full context)
Chapter 29 
Gender Roles  Theme Icon
...Gruadh stands on the cliffs of Moray backed by twelve hundred soldiers, with her son, Lulach, and her friends—Ruari, Angus, and others—by her side.  Gruadh wears the armor Finn made for... (full context)
Fate, Family, and Ambition  Theme Icon
Violence, Justice, and Revenge  Theme Icon
...ships reveal themselves and chase Malcolm’s boats away. Although they have won the battle today, Lulach comments that Malcolm will return by land, now that he knows he cannot attack by... (full context)
Chapter 30 
History, Memory, and Storytelling  Theme Icon
Violence, Justice, and Revenge  Theme Icon
...final marriage proposal. He is also informing Gruadh he has claimed Fife. He further disputes Lulach’s claim as the true king of Scotland. Drostan and Gruadh speculate that, once Malcolm learns... (full context)
Chapter 31
Fate, Family, and Ambition  Theme Icon
Violence, Justice, and Revenge  Theme Icon
Gruadh recalls that in 1054 Lulach married Thorfin’s daughter, Ingebjorg, uniting Moray and Orkney. That spring, Mother Enya died, and in... (full context)
Fate, Family, and Ambition  Theme Icon
Violence, Justice, and Revenge  Theme Icon
...come inside, but insisted they took a boat south to Scone so they could crown Lulach as king.  (full context)
Magic, Tradition, and Religion  Theme Icon
Fate, Family, and Ambition  Theme Icon
Macbeth explained to Gruadh that if he died before Lulach was made king, Gruadh and all her heirs would be in danger. He also warned... (full context)
Magic, Tradition, and Religion  Theme Icon
Fate, Family, and Ambition  Theme Icon
...even if Malcolm mac Duncan protested. Macbeth lived just long enough to see Gruadh crown Lulach, and then died upon the hill where Gruadh once crowned him. (full context)
Epilogue
Fate, Family, and Ambition  Theme Icon
In 1058, Gruadh is excited to greet Lulach, who has just arrived at Elgin. She is happy to see her grandson, Nechtan, who... (full context)
Fate, Family, and Ambition  Theme Icon
...regent of Moray for young Nechtan, and he jokingly asks her “how his province fares.” Lulach asks Gruadh about any messages from Malcolm mac Duncan. Lulach plans to gather forces, using... (full context)
Magic, Tradition, and Religion  Theme Icon
Fate, Family, and Ambition  Theme Icon
Ruari and Lulach tell Gruadh that Macbeth has finally been buried at Iona, as he always wanted to... (full context)
History, Memory, and Storytelling  Theme Icon
Magic, Tradition, and Religion  Theme Icon
Lulach plans to launch an attack on Malcolm mac Duncan’s forces, and wants to move Gruadh... (full context)