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Macbeth - The Sleepwalking Scene: A Dramatic Analysis.

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Macbeth Coursework Essay The Sleepwalking Scene: A Dramatic Analysis The main focus in act 5 scene 1 is Lady Macbeth as she sleepwalks. The other characters who are seen are Lady Macbeth's gentlewoman and a doctor. The gentlewoman must have been worried for Lady Macbeth, so she asked a doctor to come to diagnose her illness. The doctor and the gentlewoman have both stayed awake for two nights and she has not stirred. Because of this, the doctor does not believe the gentlewoman. The gentlewoman explains when Lady Macbeth last walked and what she continuously does when she sees her. The gentlewoman explains that Lady Macbeth writes something down on paper, reads it and then seals it. She could be writing her confessions about the murder of the king. But in those two nights, none of the reported symptoms have occurred. The doctor says that it is a disturbance of nature to do such things while being asleep and he asks the gentlewoman what she has said whilst walking. The gentlewoman refuses to repeat anything about her mistress behind her back. The doctor tries to persuade her, but she won't give in. Lady Macbeth then enters the room, sleepwalking and holding a candle. She is nervous, shaking and terrified. The doctor wonders if she is really asleep as she is holding the lit candle and her eyes are open. ...read more.


In her heart, she knows that Macbeth killed Macduff's family. "Banquo's buried; he cannot come out on's grave." This line shows that Banquo is haunting her. He used to be Macbeth's best friend, and Lady Macbeth knows that Macbeth has no heart now and will not hesitate in killing even his best friend. Shakespeare uses dramatic irony here. At the beginning of the play, they shared all their secrets. Macbeth even told Lady Macbeth about the witches, and what they said to him. They shared their feelings about killing the king but now, Macbeth went secretly behind her back and killed Banquo, Macduff's family and was planning to kill Banquo's son. She knows Macbeth's character too well. Lady Macbeth knows now that there is no chance of loving Macbeth the same way that she used to. I think that part of the reason why she has changed her character in the way that she has is because she realises that she is not loved anymore. She is unable to cope with all the guilt. She was the one who put the idea into Macbeth's head in the first place. She was the one who told Macbeth to kill the king. She was the one who told Macbeth to kill the servants. She was the one who planned everything. In a way, she was the one who killed the King. ...read more.


As soon as Lady Macbeth has said just enough to keep them suspicious yet not enough for them to know the truth, the scene ends. I think that the whole play comes down to one theme, the power of good and evil. It all ties up with symbolism. Darkness means evil and hell, light means goodness and purity. This scene was deliberately set in the night to get this point across to the audience. Lady Macbeth is scared of the dark, which shows that she may not be as evil as we think she is. It also shows that she is scared of evil, which means that inside she is actually a good person. She asks to have a light beside her all the time, which shows that she always has goodness by her side. Shakespeare thought that whenever it was bad weather, something evil was going to happen. He purposely made the scene of the witches on the heath, because this is where the bad weather was. Shakespeare never made it clear on how Lady Macbeth died. People assumed that she killed herself. She was driven insane by her actions when she allowed ambition to over-rule her. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth could have changed the future by their actions but instead it ended up with both of them dead. I believe that this is a very important scene in Macbeth. It has a moral and the audience should find this scene helpful. Shakespeare tells the audience that if you plot against the king, god will certainly punish you! ...read more.

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