Sleep Walking Scene from Macbeth

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SIGNIFICANCE OF THE SLEEP WALKING SCENE
The sleep walking scene is probably one of the most significant scenes in the play Macbeth. Filled with ironical statements on the part of Lady Macbeth. This scene shows the stark contrast we observe between the Lady Macbeth we are introduced to early in the play and the character that we observe in her in this scene. The scene marks the downfall of this ‘fiend like queen’ and depicts the disintegration of her former character. The scene takes place in Lady Macbeth’s apartments. A doctor and Lady Macbeth’s gentle woman have been watching Lady Macbeth for the past two nights but the doctor could observe no truth in what the gentle woman had reported to him. The gentle woman informs the doctor that the last time Lady Macbeth walked in sleep was when Macbeth had gone to the battlefield. She reported that Lady Macbeth would rise from her bed, put on her night gown, unlock her closet, take forth a paper, fold it, write on it, read it, seal it and would then return back to bed- all in deep sleep. The Doctor said that it is an unnatural perturbance to receive at once-both the benefits of sleep and yet perform the acts of watching (being awake). The gentlewoman’s loyalty is seen in the fact that she refuses to report what Lady Macbeth had said in her sleep behind her back. Lady Macbeth enters the room in her guise (appearance) of sleep. Her eyes were open but her senses were shut. She held a taper in her hand and it was her order that there would be a candle continually by her side. It is highly ironic that the very same woman who called the thick night to pall itself into the ‘dunnest smoke of hell’ so that the eye could not see the wound that the hand makes. Neither could heaven peep from the blanket of darkness to stop the deed from being performed by crying out ‘Hold, hold’, now demands light beside her at all times. Lady Macbeth is rubbing her hands and the gentlewoman informs the doctor that it was a regular occurrence for...
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