College Papers

The out of the situation. The “strange and

 The result of Macbeth’s sinful actions haunt his subconscious after him murdering Duncan which reveals how guilt is able to taunt a person to the point where they lose control of their mind. When Macbeth goes back to his room right after murdering King Duncan, he hallucinates and thinks that he hears someone saying “…no more; Macbeth shall sleep no more” ( II.ii.55). The repetition of the phrase “sleep no more” throughout the scene is brought forth to show Macbeth’s guilt and to emphasize his wrongdoing. More specifically, the repetition of the word “sleep” implies that Macbeth will not have any moments of peace, which foreshadows that he will never rest peacefully. At the end of Macbeth’s banquet, Lady Macbeth tells Macbeth that he needs sleep and rest and he replies “My strange and self-abuse/the initiate fear” ( II.iv.166-167). Without changing his mind about what he plans to do, Macbeth is trying to make best out of the situation. The “strange and self-abuse” is his reaction to Banquo’s ghost but sees it only as “initiate fear” because of the result of his beginning nerves. Macbeth believes that his hallucinations are a result only of fear that will go away with experience, as he is still inexperienced in committing a crime.     Lady Macbeth’s inner remorse from her sinful actions makes it difficult for her to sleep, thus demonstrating that guilt can lead to a person exposing their negative intentions. In this scene, Lady Macbeth is sleepwalking through the castle, as she is rubbing her hands as if she was about to wash them and wants the blood “Out, damned spot! Out, I say” ( V.i.31). The “spot” on Lady Macbeth’s hand is an example of imagery, as she is trying to wipe away the guilt that she is feeling over King Duncan’s death. The repetition of the word “out” was given to add emphasis to the fact that she wants to have no evidence of her committing a crime so that she can be free of guilt. This action is the result of the lack of sleep she has because of the feeling of guilt that she holds in herself.  After Lady Macbeth washes her hands she still seems to have an inner guilty conscience that has her saying “Here’s the smell of blood still” (Lady Macbeth V.i.45). This reveals that guilt is still on her mind. Before, Lady Macbeth was characterized as to be always in control and was never touched by guilt, but in this scene, she shows a sign of remorse, and realizes how cruel and sinful she has become. Her sleepwalking is giving away all of her evil actions without her noticing that she is because she is only so worried about what she has done that brought her this feeling if guilt.      Macbeth eventually overcame his guilt by neglecting his inner conscience, however, remembers the innocent people he had killed because of their ability to sleep in peace. In this scene, Macbeth tells his Lady that their business is not yet finished, and it will lead to “terrible dreams/That shake us nightly” (III.ii.21-22). Since their plan is not yet completed, they are aware that “terrible dreams” or nightmares will come to them, making them unable to sleep. This is because they are aware that they have killed, and their “terrible dreams” foreshadow that they will eventually kill more, so their sleep is going to be disturbed. Once Duncan is in his grave, Lady Macbeth tries to convince Macbeth that what’s done is done and you cannot change what has happened “After life’s fitful fever he sleeps well;” (III.ii.26). For Duncan, sleep is seen as a happy state because “he sleeps well” in peace and will go to heaven because he has nothing to be guilty of. But for Macbeth and Lady Macbeth however, sleep will have a negative connotation as they are filled with guilt and fear of future punishment. Lady Macbeth makes Macbeth believe that the reason for his hallucinations is because of the lack of sleep, but the real reason is because of their guilt that disturbs their sleep.