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Is The Sleepwalking Scene In Macbeth Rightfully Famous?

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Is The Sleepwalking Scene In Macbeth Rightfully Famous? Theatre going was very popular in Elizabethan London, but it was incredibly different than going to the theatre today. It was like a cross between going to watch a football match and going to the theatre. The playhouses were open air and the lack of artificial lighting meant that plays had to be performed in daylight, normally in the afternoon. Act 5 scene 1 of 'Macbeth', also known as 'the sleep walking scene' is a very famous part of the play; so famous that even the people who have not seen or read the play know of it. It is probably classified as famous because of its dramatic affect. This scene has the power to change ones opinion of Lady Macbeth, as before this scene I, personally, disapproved of Lady Macbeth; but after viewing this scene my opinion was vividly changed. It had gone from disliking Lady Macbeth and hoping that she suffered to sympathising for her and wishing that she escaped the clutches of justice. The things that are said by Lady Macbeth while she is sleepwalking give us a clearer picture of how the guilt is affecting Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. The scene keeps audiences interested because of the vivid change between the scenes. In the previous scene we were at the Kings palace in England, which is regarded as a safe place because the ...read more.


Before she says this line she peers down and gasps as If a hole as just opened in the floor and she can see hell and, according to her line, she thinks its murky. This is an extremely good way of interpreting the line because it adds effectiveness. In this scene Lady Macbeth is sleepwalking so she must be completely unaware of everybody and seem as though she is in a trance. A good way of showing this is in the same production that starred Dame Judy Dench. In this she wonders straight through the doctor and gentile woman without noticing them. In this scene a vast majority of the themes that occur through out the play are mentioned in one way or another. One of the most obvious themes is murder; without this there would be no plot. In this scene Lady Macbeth mentions three different murders of which she knows about. The murder of King Duncan, 'who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him' They killed him in order for Macbeth to become King. She also mentions the murders of Banquo and his wife the thane of fife 'The Thane of Fife had a wife, where is she now' and 'I tell you yet again, Banquos buried; he cannot come out of he's grave' Isolation is also a theme in the play that is mentioned in this scene. ...read more.


In act 2 scene 2 Macbeth says a similar sentence. 'Will all the great Neptune's ocean wash this blood clean from my hand?' Both of them seem to be suffering the same pain. She also says ' Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?' This doesn't mean that he had a lot of blood, but it means that she did not expect to have that much guilt from his murder. Sleep is often used metaphorically in this play as a place of solitude, a place of privacy where you cannot be disturbed. It is thought to be a reliever that one cannot go without. The fact that Lady Macbeth is sleepwalking she is no longer in her private place. She lets out secrets because her solitude has been taken away from her. In my opinion I believe that this scene is rightfully famous as it has a tendency to hang about ones mind. Its dramatic affect has the power to change ones opinion. This scene is a very powerful scene, and is therefore rightfully famous, because it creates a clearer picture of the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth; we also understand what goes on in the mind of Lady Macbeth. It also explains some of the actions that she does, perhaps why she brakes down and later on kills herself; it helps one to relate to her problems making one sympathise with her. The play shows how ambition can lead to evil doings ...read more.

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