Sleepwalking In Macbeth

Decent Essays

Sleep provides a sanctuary [BS]. Sleep provides peace of mind. Sleep provides sanity [Parallel]. Sleeping allows the mind a chance to rest and creates a bliss that one can only experience while he rests. Although important, sleep negatively provides the chance for nightmares to creep into the resting mind [Periodic]. In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the murderers Macbeth and Lady Macbeth begin to lose sleep. Unable to bear the pain of both conscious fear and terror of the night, the couple slowly edges towards insanity [Periodic]. Shakespeare uses his play Macbeth to show that sleep for the guilty minded and fearful is torture. As the play begins to unfold, Lady Macbeth encourages her husband to murder the king. They prepare the setting for the King’s …show more content…

Out of fear, she begs her gentlewoman to leave a candle at her bedside every night. One evening, the concerned gentlewoman calls upon a doctor to observe Lady Macbeth and discover the meaning behind her sleepwalking. That night as she comes out of her room carrying her candle she begins revealing her treason. “Foul whisp’rings are abroad. Unnatural deeds / Do breed unnatural troubles. Infected minds / To their deaf pillows will discharge their secrets. / More needs she the divine than the physician. / God, God forgive us all!” (V, ii, 67-71). Both the doctor and the gentlewoman understand that the Macbeths killed King Duncan, but they vow to never speak of the incident in fear of death [BCS]. The doctor understands the significance of washing the blood off of her hands and the severity of her confessions while she sleeps. Sleep being her most vulnerable state, Lady Macbeth reveals her treachery, bringing the doctor to the conclusion that only God can save her. After realizing her fate Lady Macbeth decides that she would rather commit suicide than face the consequences of her actions, because even in her sleep, in her mind, she became unsafe for

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