In Macbeth, Shakespeare uses the motif of sleep, a natural process, to demonstrate how the unchecked ambition for unnatural objects cause a loss of innocence. This is evident in Lady Macbeth's confession of her sinful acts and Macbeth's state of mind after Duncan's death. The motif of sleep occurs in the form of sleep talking when Lady Macbeth relives the moments when she plotted the death of Duncan and Lady MacDuff in order to acquire the throne. After Lady Macbeth gets a note from Macbeth that describes the witch's prophecies, she plots Duncan's murder and tries to muster the courage to execute her plan. Pleading in front of supernatural beings, Lady Macbeth begs, "Of direst cruelty. Make thick my blood/ Stop up th' access and passage to remorse"(1.4.50-52). Lady …show more content…
The Macbeth's are not related to Duncan by blood, which means Macbeth is not the natural successor to the throne. Fearful of regret and "remorse" for her impending plans, Lady Macbeth begs the supernatural powers to make her blood "thick" to help her avoid the guilt that will succeed the ambition to acquire unnatural objects, in this case Duncan's throne. This unchecked ambition to a throne that was not rightfully theirs results in decades filled with guilt and a loss of innocence. Lady Macbeth often sleep talks- reliving conversations she had about the murders. During one such occasion, she laments, "Out, damned spot, out I say! One. Two./...The thane of Fife had a wife. Where is/she now?-What, will these hands ne'er be clean?"(5.1.37-47) Lady Macbeth views the blood "spot" on her hands as a source of guilt and remorse; her hands will "ne'er be clean." This loss of purity is matched with her loss of sleep. Sleep is seen as a symbol of rejuvenation - a symbol of inner peace, meditation and innocence. Although Lady Macbeth is
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“Out, damned spot, out, I say!” Lady Macbeth exclaimed as she walked down the hall in a deep sleep (Folger 163). In Act 5 Scene 1, Lady Macbeth sleep walks down the hall as a gentlewomen and doctor observe what is happening. Ever since Macbeth went into the field, Lady Macbeth has begun sleep walking down halls and writing herself notes, reading them allowed, then going back to sleep. The gentlewomen called for a doctor because Lady Macbeth kept making the gestures of repeatedly washing her hands as she relived all the past horrifying occurrences Macbeth and her experienced.
The first way Macbeth shows this Motif is when Macbeth sees a floating dagger pointed at him. For instance when the narrator says, “Is this a dagger I see in front of me, with its handle pointing toward my hand? Come, let me hold you”(Act 2 Scene 1). What this means is that Macbeth had the drive to kill King Duncan in his sleep.
Nathan Hugh Cameron Vanessa Dean English 31 January 2017 Macbeth & The Bible It has been said that Shakespeare wrote Macbeth for King James. King James was the man responsible for translating and printing the King James Bible. So after reading through some websites, the story, and some verses in the Bible; there are so many similarities. Shakespeare sets the scene for the murder of Duncan in a Garden-of-Eden like castle and presents us with a man and woman who have been tempted by devils to become like gods by murdering the reigning king. When they accomplish their “mission”, Macbeth hears a voice crying out that he has murdered sleep itself, that consequence of his sin, like Adam did in the Garden.
Furthermore, since Macbeth is dominated by desire, he have no free will to control himself, and he would wipeout anything that hinder his ambition by any means. After he is blind by his ambitious thoughts, he begin to commit sinful actions one after another, like a killing machine. While Lady Macbeth said, "He is about it:/ The doors are open; and the surfeited grooms/ Do mock their charge with snores: I have drugg'd their possets,/ That death and nature do contend about them,/ Whether they live or die" (II. ii. 6-11), Macbeth slays king Duncan in his sleep and exits with his bloody dagger.
Flowers and nature are symbolic of Macbeth’s innocence, in act 1. Lines like “Look innocent like a flower, but be the serpent under it” (Lady Macbeth scene 5 lines 72-73)and “The air nimbly and sweetly recommends itself unto our gentle senses” (King Duncan scene 6 lines 1-2)show how innocent Macbeth is. The sweet air that is around Macbeth’s castle is a symbol of how sweet Macbeth appears. In the first act, Macbeth is a loyal subject of King Duncan. However, when he is told the prophecies by the witches he becomes the snake that Lady Macbeth tells him to be.
Also, she states, “Make thick my blood. / stop up th’ access and passage to remorse, / that no compunctious visitings of nature” (1.5.50-52). Lady Macbeth is saying to thicken her blood and clog her veins so she won’t feel remorse, and so that no human compassion can stop her evil plan or prevent her from accomplishing it. This continues the theme because she wants to get rid of human feelings. Typically women are viewed as more emotional than men.
Instead of going along with Macbeth’s new plans to murder more people, Lady Macbeth attempts to dissuade Macbeth, telling him that he “lack[s] the season of all nature, sleep,” trying to get Macbeth to go to bed as opposed to plotting and then carrying out his plans of murder (3.4.142). By trying to stop Macbeth from murdering more people, it is clear that despite wanting to be evil and feel nothing, her sense of guilt is too strong for her to
Throughout the first two acts of Macbeth, the motif of sleep is portrayed through several opposing perspectives. We are first introduced to this recurring idea in the first scene, when the witches elect to meet Macbeth on the heath during the battle’s aftermath. The First Witch says that she will punish a woman by preventing her husband from sleeping on his voyage, declaring that “I will drain him dry as hay: Sleep shall neither night nor day Hang upon his pent-house lid;” (I.ii.18-20). The phenomenon in this scene is presented as an basic item that is to always be taken for granted, like clean water and shelter. If someone were to be denied the right to sleep, it would constitute torture.
Macbeth begins to go insane after he murders King Duncan at the beginning of the play. Although he did it for a gain of power, he still feels very guilty. Macbeth starts saying weird things about what he heard, “Methought I heard a voice cry “Sleep no more!” to all the house. “Glamis hath murdered sleep, and therefore Cawdor Shall sleep no more.
Lady Macbeth’s gentlewoman is witness to these night time episodes that Lady Macbeth has, but she is loyal and will not repeat what is said during these episodes. She has though mentioned that Lady Macbeth walks around trying to wash her hands of the blood that she dreams stains her hands. Lady Macbeth is feeling guilty for having started Macbeth’s murdering spree with the initial murder she planned. As king and queen of Scotland, both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are not suitable. Lady Macbeth has become mad from her malefactions, which is not a fitting way for a queen to behave.
Her ambition is not only for herself but also for Macbeth. Nevertheless, with all her fervor, she wants him to be as strong as her. “Make thick my blood./Stop up the access and passage to remorse,/That no compunctious visitings of nature/ Shake my fell purpose/Come to my woman’s breasts,/And take my milk for gall” (1.5.44-49). Lady Macbeth never wavers in her goal.
After the killing of Duncan is when Lady MacBeth mental insanity starts. We first see it when the gentle woman says, “Why, it stood by her. She has light by her continually. ’ Tis hercommand” (5.1.17). She has to have a light next to her all the time because all of the things her husband and her have done.
In my humble opinion, the epitome of banality in stories tracing a protagonist’s guilt is when reenactments of their crime surface in nightmares. If it is in a novel, then the nightmare abstracts the original memory into symbols that buy time from the plot to decipher a past event in a different context. If it is in a movie, then I suppose the director and production staff sought an excuse to flex their computer-generated imagery skills and blast sound effects at pitiful eardrums. Regardless of the medium, I would argue that a lack of sleep causes a more profound effect on the protagonist than tormented sleep. In Macbeth by William Shakespeare, killings progressively grow in ruthlessness and increase the toll on the perpetrator’s ability to sleep and relax.