Loss Of Sleep In Macbeth

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Throughout the story of Macbeth, the loss of sleep is quietly woven. Beneath the surface and literal meaning of the word, sleep actually symbolizes peace and innocent rest in the play. Before the persuasive words of his wife, Macbeth was satisfied with his life and was going to allow fate to take its course. “If chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me, without my stir”(1.3.144). However, once Lady Macbeth began to question Macbeth’s manhood by insulting him, he could no longer disregard the idea of becoming king immediately. At that point, Macbeth felt anxious and guilty about plotting King Duncan’s murder to satisfy Lady Macbeth. In fact, as the time for murder approached, Macbeth began to hallucinate while walking towards Duncan’s…show more content…
In this critical moment, his level of inner peace began to decrease. After the murder of the king, Macbeth couldn’t free his frenetic conscious of the horrid act he committed. His peace has been taken away and torment begins to take over as he proclaims “Methought I heard a voice cry “Sleep no more! Macbeth does murder sleep”- the innocent sleep, sleep that knits up the raveled sleave of care, the death of each day’s life, sore labor’s bath, balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course, chief nourisher in life’s feast”(2.2.34-39). Now, Macbeth’s innocence is gone and he will no longer be able to rest peacefully. Meanwhile, Lady Macbeth remained calm and collected throughout the play. After Duncan’s murder, she simply stated that the deed could be washed away with water. “My hands are of your color, but I shame to wear a heart so…show more content…
A little water clears us of this deed: How easy is it then! Your constancy hath left you unattended. Hark! More knocking. Get on your nightgown, lest occasion call us and show us to be watchers. Be not lost so poorly in your thoughts”(2.2.63-71). Soon after, the roles of Lady Macbeth and Macbeth began to switch. Macbeth has lost his innocence and ends up killing multiple people afterwards to cover his tracks. Continuing his brutal trend made him capable of killing without remorse. In contrast, Lady Macbeth becomes the frantic partner and eventually loses her sense of peace. One troubled night, Lady Macbeth sleepwalked and discussed the past events that were consuming her guilt-ridden conscious. The doctor listened in astonishment and stated “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 please forgive us all! Look after her; remove from her the means of all annoyance, and still keep eyes upon her. So good night. My mind she has mated and amazed my sight: I think, but dare not speak” (5.2.62-69). According to the text, Lady Macbeth has also lost her sense of peace and feels that she is no longer
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