Sleep Walking Scene in Macbeth

Sleep Walking Scene in Macbeth

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Sleep Walking Scene in Macbeth, Lady Macbeth Sleep Walking Article, Significance of Sleep Walking Scene in Macbeth.

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Sleepwalking Scene in Macbeth, Lady Macbeth Sleepwalking Scene.

The sleepwalking scene ( Act -V, Scene – 1 ) has been regarded as the climax of Shakespeare’s exploration and unfolding of individual secrets in ” Macbeth “.

This famous scene is a ‘ stroke of creative imagination ‘.

The broken prose fragments of Lady Macbeth’s speech show the collapse of the human mind.

The broken prose fragments of Lady Macbeth’s speech also show the degeneration of her character under inhuman mental pressure.

According to some critics, the gentlewoman and the doctor represent a choric form.

The doctor serves to show the contrast between the English king with the supernatural leading powers and the Scottish throne with its disease which as the doctor says, ” Beyond and practice “.

At an appropriate hour, the gentlewoman invites the doctor to examine Lady Macbeth attacked with ‘ melancholia ‘ which is the very fatal disease.

She is now lost in the world of despair and suffering. She appears a taper in her hand.

She has continually a lamp by her side as darkness reminds her of the night of the murder of Duncan.


In her somnambulism, Lady Macbeth refers to the dark and murky hell of which she is always afraid.


Lady Macbeth urged her husband to be brave like a soldier before the murder of Duncan. At that time she was both fearless and desperate.

But she is astonished to think that the man should have so much blood in him.


Then Lady Macbeth refers to the death of the Thane of Fife’s wife and the brutal killing of the members of his family: – ” The Thane of Fife had a wife where is she now?…..”.


The degeneration of her character starts and she begins to sink into a mental collapse as she is now a psychiatric patient.

The woman in her heart starts bleeding.

In this context, she says, ” here’s the smell of the blood……will not sweeten this little hand “.

Before she goes to bed, she says – ” what’s done can not be undone” and departs with the words, ” To bed, to bed, to bed “.


The incoherent utterances of Lady Macbeth reveal the guilt of Lady Macbeth to the doctor.

The doctor has come believe that both of them brutally murdered Duncan.

According to the doctor, her care is beyond the reach of treatment and medicines.


Her battered is the inevitable retribution of Lady Macbeth.

She is essentially a woman but she has sacrificed her womanliness for the shake of her husband.

She can stand neither the shock of the murder of Duncan nor the shock of the discovery of murder and the death of Banquo.

From the state of nervous weakness and spiritual desolation, the sleepwalking and mumblings in sleep are the natural and inevitable transition of her character.

Her mental collapse does not justify that Lady Macbeth is the ‘ fourth witch ‘ in ” Macbeth “.

Indeed, her mental collapse is the inevitable climax of a process of natural retribution.


In conclusion, it would be interesting to quote Grierson that for the first and last time in literature, sleepwalking is used with a great and terrible effect.

Read More – Lady Macbeth Character Analysis

Read More – Dramatic Irony In Macbeth

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