Study Guide

The Lay of the Last Minstrel

by Sir Walter Scott

The Lay of the Last Minstrel Characters

Characters Discussed (Great Characters in Literature)

Sir William of Deloraine

Sir William of Deloraine, a knight who has served the lord of Branksome. When Branksome is killed in a battle against the English, Deloraine remains faithful to the memory of his leader and stays on to serve Lady Buccleuch, Branksome’s widow. Returning from a mission to get a magic book, Deloraine fights Lord Cranstoun, Branksome’s former enemy who is in love with Branksome’s daughter. Deloraine falls wounded. He recovers and lives to see harmony restored between the Scots and the English.

Lady Buccleuch

Lady Buccleuch, Lord Branksome’s widow, the daughter of a magician. Spirits tell her that Branksome Castle is doomed unless pride dies and frees love. Lady Buccleuch does not heed the spirits at first. Finally, however, when Deloraine’s life may be lost and when her son may be taken from her, she relents. Her change of heart, shown by the blessing she gives to the love of her daughter Margaret for Lord Cranstoun, the late Lord Branksome’s enemy, brings peace to Branksome Castle and the Scottish border.

Lord Cranstoun

Lord Cranstoun, a knight who fought against Lord Branksome but who loves Margaret, Branksome’s daughter. Cranstoun, having wounded Deloraine, makes amends by donning Deloraine’s armor and fighting, as that knight, against an English champion. When he wins, the English forces retire, Lady Buccleuch blesses his suit for Margaret’s hand, and Deloraine has leisure for his wounds to heal.

The Dwarf

The Dwarf, an evil magician devoted to Lord Cranstoun. The Dwarf causes mischief at Branksome Castle by posing as the Master of Buccleuch. At a banquet, the Dwarf is killed by a thunderbolt, and in the eerie light Deloraine sees the form of the dead wizard, Michael Scott, whose book Lady Buccleuch had sent Deloraine to bring from Melrose Abbey.

The ghost of Michael Scott

The ghost of Michael Scott, a wraith whose activities complicate the lives of those who live at Branksome Castle. At the end, Branksome’s knights make pilgrimages to pray for rest for Michael Scott’s soul.

Margaret

Margaret, Lady Buccleuch’s daughter and Cranstoun’s beloved.

The Master of Buccleuch

The Master of Buccleuch, Lady Buccleuch’s son, a small boy.