This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Sleep In Macbeth Essay

725 words - 3 pages

Sleep, as a bodily function, regulates how the body heals itself and how people process events in their lives. Disruption of sleep can cause mild symptoms such as dizziness to a slight loss of fine motor skills to full on hallucinations. It is in William Shakespeare’s Macbeth that sleep plays very different roles in order to influence the plot; in this Scottish play, sleep, in its absence, is a way to express thoughts about troublesome events, a way of showing that a man has gone made, and a way to reveal truths about characters.
Initially, the two characters who heard the witches’ prophecies, Banquo and Macbeth, show a certain amount of angst over what they had just heard. Banquo says, “A heavy summons lies like lead upon me,/And yet would not sleep: merciful powers,/Restrain in me the cursed thoughts that nature/ Gives way to repose!” In this quote, Banquo is expressing his inability to sleep due to his troubled thoughts, thoughts caused by the witches’ prophecy. In fact, this is the first time a character believes that Macbeth is malevolent in his intent which is later reinforced by Macbeth’s offer to reward Banquo if he supports the fulfillment of the witches’ prophecy. Ironically, Macbeth ends their conversation with “Good repose!” or good night.
Since Macbeth murdered King Duncan, Macbeth has not been able to sleep for fear of vengeance and guilt. This is immediately evident as soon as Macbeth speaks to Lady Macbeth about the murder he has just committed. “Still it cried ‘Sleep no more!’ to all the house./ “Glamis hath murdered sleep, and therefore/ Cawdor/ Shall sleep no more. Macbeth shall sleep no/ more.” The guilt and anguish that Macbeth feels when the fact that he has taken the life of his friend sinks in drives him crazy. From here, he recovers himself and disguises himself as a jubilant king, but the cracks start to show as Macbeth caves under the stresses of guilt and fear. At a feast in Macbeth’s honor, Macbeth loses control and sees an apparition of Banquo, whom he had just had...

Find Another Essay On Sleep in Macbeth

Images of Night and Sleep in Macbeth by William Shakespeare

2260 words - 9 pages Images of Night and Sleep in Macbeth by William Shakespeare The Shakespearean work Macbeth is a dramatic tragedy. It is a serious play that represents the disastrous downfall of its central character, Macbeth. In this tragedy there are many terrible acts of bloodthirsty, premeditated violence. Many of these gruesome acts happen at night. These incidents of tragedy have a major affect on the main characters and their

Sleep imagery in shakespeare's Macbeth to develop themes innocence, nature and guilt

736 words - 3 pages Sleep is a period of rest and revitalization, without it, a person will become very weak and start to go insane. The story of Macbeth, written by William Shakespeare in the Elizabethan, tells the tale of a man who was tempted by weird sisters to ambition and a greed for power. Macbeth killed the king to gain his throne. However after the murder Macbeth is unable to sleep properly. Sleep is one of the key images which recur throughout the play

In Macbeth, sleep was meant as a sanctuary or a safe haven but as the play progresses sleep becomes fear and not being able to think clearly which gives you a whole different perspective in life

886 words - 4 pages A day without sleep is bad enough with all the headaches and feeling tired. How much more if you haven't slept in weeks or even a whole year. Sleep can be defined as a natural periodic state of rest for the mind and body. In Macbeth, sleep was meant as a sanctuary or a safe haven but as the play progresses sleep becomes fear and not being able to think clearly which gives you a whole different perspective in life. Sleeping is a

Free Macbeth Essays: Sleep and Sleeplessness

525 words - 2 pages The Sleep and Sleeplessness Motif in Macbeth We have consciences that function to tell us the difference between right and wrong. If we have clear consciences, we usually possess the ability to sleep. But when our consciences are full of guilt, we experience a state of sleeplessness. In Macbeth, Shakespeare uses the sleep and sleeplessness motif to represent Macbeth's and Lady Macbeth's consciences and the effect Macbeth's conscience has

Free Macbeth Essays: The Importance of Sleep

593 words - 2 pages The Importance of Sleep in Macbeth     The image of sleep is consistently mentioned in Macbeth with the intention of creating a symbolic importance.  Macbeth himself notes that the sleep he discusses with us, is that that ‘knits up’, meaning the sleep which smoothes out and pieces together. Macbeth recites this after he has spoken to Lady Macbeth directly after he committed the bloody murder of King Duncan.  He

Blood and Darkness as Symbols in Macbeth by William Shakespeare

1047 words - 5 pages Shakespeare uses multiple themes and imagery such as blood , sleep and darkness and light to develop a central character personality in the play Macbeth. Throughout the play Shakespeare uses blood to illustrate bravery, honour courage , guilt and terson to develop a central character for macbeth.Macbeth was portrayed as a brave honorable general,we see this when Duncan see’s an solider and proclaims “What Bloody man is that”,the soldier

Guilt In Macbeth

1004 words - 5 pages The feeling of guilt is a strong emotion in ‘Macbeth'. Macbeth tries to take the throne in a variety of heinous ways and as a result he feels repercussions of his guilt as he carries out his murders. Literary elements are scattered throughout ‘Macbeth’ are used to progress the reoccurring theme “The Horrors of Guilt" Sleep is a metaphor that is used throughout ‘Macbeth’, more specifically the murder of sleep. Murder of sleep is a metaphor that

The Ultimate Downfall of Macbeth Due to Guilt

1028 words - 4 pages In the play Macbeth by William Shakespeare, Macbeth’s ultimate downfall is due to the guilt he feels over everything he has done. The motif of supernatural forces, specifically the hallucinations and lack of sleep that Macbeth experiences, project the force of the guilt that eventually causes Macbeth’s destruction. Shakespeare uses the motif of supernatural forces to express how the force of the guilt Macbeth feels eventually leads to his

The Tragedy of Macbeth: The Play vs. The History

989 words - 4 pages nobleman of Scotland and is possessed with the need of power. He becomes Thane of Glamis and Thane of Cawdor, but with the help of his wife, Lady Macbeth, he seizes the desire to become King of Scotland: “…This have I thought good to deliver thee, my dearest partner of greatness, that thou mightst not lose the dues of rejoicing…” (Shakespeare 312; ll 9-11). Macbeth kills the king of Scotland, Duncan I, in his sleep: “Methought I heard a voice cry

Macbeth, by William Shakespeare

941 words - 4 pages asleep…his two chamberlains will I with wine and wassail so convince that memory, the warder of the brain, shall be a fume, and the recipient of reason a limbeck only. When in swinish sleep their drenched matures lies as in a death…” These steps taken by Lady Macbeth convince Macbeth to admire and take part in Lady Macbeth’s plot. “Bring forth men children only,” this venerate response by Macbeth to Lady Macbeth and her plan indicates that Lady

Don't be devised by the Appearance

1013 words - 5 pages murder while holding a candle in her hand. This shows the instance of Appearance vs. Reality. Lady Macbeth thinks there is someone listening to her but in Reality there is no one in front of her; she is talking to thin air. “Here’s the smell of blood still: all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand.” (V, I, 46) This quote shows that Lady Macbeth talks in her sleep. She lives in the fear that someone will come after her as she took

Similar Essays

Sleep Motif In Macbeth Essay

1460 words - 6 pages . They experience numerous consequences for their action, which eventually lead to their deaths. Throughout the entire play of Macbeth, sleep, or the lack of sleep, is predominant. Sleep is very crucial in our lives since it keeps our bodies and brains functioning property. Similar to our lives, sleep is also crucial in Macbeth. Typically, sleep is associated with innocence, purity and peaceful minds. In Macbeth, only the good-hearted people are able

Sleep And Rest In Macbeth Essay

1712 words - 7 pages In William Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’ sleep is a very significant aspect of the play which is portrayed by many references to it and occurrences that result in sleep deprivation. To emphasize the importance of resting Shakespeare uses varied poetic language and sleep distortions. Sleep comes as a significant theme of the play when Macbeth, persuaded by Lady Macbeth kills King Duncan while he is asleep at their house. Consequently, Macbeth suffers

Importance Of Sleep In Shakespeare's Macbeth

964 words - 4 pages without the healing force sleep brings with it.  Shakespeare uses sleep both as a reward and as a consequence in his plays.  If a character is innocent and pure, he is allowed restful, fulfilling sleep.  If the character lacks these traits of goodness, he is condemned to a lifetime of insomnia and other problems.  In Shakespeare’s tragedy, Macbeth, the reader can see this idea manifest itself in many different ways.&nbsp

The Importance Of Sleep In Macbeth

891 words - 4 pages pointing towards the room of King Duncan. Macbeth sees this as a sign to continue with the plan to murder him. After King Duncan is dead, Macbeth hears a voice saying,”Methought I heard a voice cry ‘Sleep no more!/Macbeth does murder sleep,’ the innocent sleep,/Sleep that knits up the ravell'd sleave of care,/The death of each day's life, sore labour's bath,/Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course,/Chief nourisher in life's feast (2.2.32-37