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Theme Of Sleep In Macbeth

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Throughout the entirety of Macbeth, Shakespeare chooses to consistently employ the use of “sleep” as one of the main motifs of the play, so as to further illustrate the severity of the consequences that murdering King Duncan had on Macbeth, which is that he is no longer able to sleep as soundly as he once was able to, in this essay, I will endeavor to understand the possible meanings of the play and how they relate to the Macbeth in its entirety. In this play, after Macbeth murdered the king, he claims to have heard the words “sleep no more!/Macbeth does murder sleep” (2.2.47-48). “Sleep” is such an important part of this play because it has a multitude of meanings, this quote shows us that one of these meanings is that Macbeth, by having the ability to kill the king in his sleep and taking it, will now be too scared to leave himself vulnerable enough to sleep for fear of someone taking the same liberty against him. Another meaning that sleep has in this play is that Macbeth cannot sleep due to the fact that his entire life has now become the epitome of a waking nightmare. Finally, another meaning is that sleep is being equated to innocence and, therefore, Macbeth has now lost the innocence that he once possessed by committing this act of treason and murder. “Sleep” is one of the main themes of the play and it is important that we understand it so that we are able to understand the play in its full entirety, and so that we may make the play more relatable to us as
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