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Macbeth - The Sleepwalking Scene

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Gemma Jones Macbeth In this extract from the question, Lady Macbeth and Macbeth both hold very different opinions about the murder of Duncan, which has just taken place. Macbeth says 'Wake Duncan with thy knocking: I would thou couldst!' here Macbeth is saying if he could wake up Duncan he would because as he becomes more aware of the enormity of the crime he has committed, his feeling of guilt and regret grows stronger. Lady Macbeth, however, reacts very differently and while Macbeth realises and regrets what he has done, Lady Macbeth seems to grow in confidence. She doesn't seem to hold the emotions of a woman because even though such a terrible thing has happened, she doesn't ponder on it but carries on giving orders and instructions to Macbeth, unfazed by the murder that has just occurred. Macbeth appears cowardly as Lady Macbeth tells him 'to wear a heart to white' meaning that he bears a cowardly heart. ...read more.


In act 3 the first signs of doubt and insecurity show in Lady Macbeth as she says 'Tis sager to be that which we destroy, than by destruction dwell in doubtful joy'. Here Lady Macbeth is saying that the happiness they have achieved by committing the crime is wavering and is not real joy. She feels that the despair they have achieved is of no worth without happiness. After this, Macbeth decides to go his own way as his wife is becoming weaker then she was at the beginning on the play and he is no longer driven by the force of his wife. He finds that he is now driven by guilt, fear and desperation and the desire and want for the prophecies of the witches to come true. When talking with Lady Macbeth he tells her of his trouble state of mind and says 'In the affliction of these terrible dreams that shake us nightly. ...read more.


When Lady Macbeth eventually dies, Macbeth becomes everything Lady Macbeth wanted him to become. Clearly the roles and emotions they held in Act 2 Scene 2 were again reversed, with Macbeth ending as evil and 'Tomorrow, and Tomorrow and Tomorrow, creeps in this petty pace from day to day', feeling life is pointless. Macbeth realises he has lost the fight and that life has become meaningless, every act he has committed since the witches prophesies have ended in suffering for Macbeth and so it proves that he was tricked by the witches. Macbeth decides that with his life now so near to the end, he has nothing to fear. Macbeth goes into battle knowing he will lose because 'Macduff was from his mother's womb untimely ripped' which means the third prophecy that he cannot be killed by a man born of a woman will not be able to protect him from the fate that awaits him. ...read more.

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