When Gruadh is a young girl she is almost kidnapped by men representing Crinan. One of the men who grabs her and carries her off is wearing a jet and bronze brooch. She pulls it from his cloak and stabs him in the cheek with it, which startles him and causes him to let her go. Gruadh holds on to this brooch for the rest of her life. Although she never wears it, it reminds her “to stay strong and wary.” In a world where women are encouraged to be meek, gentle, and subservient, the brooch is a symbol of Gruadh’s fighting spirit, and the great lengths to which she will go to protect herself and her family, even if it means enacting violence on others.
The Brooch Symbol Timeline in Lady Macbeth
The timeline below shows where the symbol The Brooch appears in Lady Macbeth. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
...brother, Farquhar. Violently resisting capture, she grabs the man’s dagger—which he snatches back—and then his brooch, which she stabs through his cheek, causing him to release her. (full context)
Gruadh keeps the brooch she used to stab her attacker, although she doesn’t wear it. She explains that it... (full context)
A few days later, Gruadh rediscovers the jet-and-bronze brooch from her childhood. She knows even if “war came to our shores,” she “would stand... (full context)
...to do her best to help her husband. Finally, Enya gives the younger woman a brooch that Gruadh will say a spell of protection over. (full context)