“Sleep” in Macbeth
The image of sleep is consistently mentioned in Macbeth with the intention of creating a symbolic importance - consciousness. Sleep is an essential element in life, similar to breathing and eating, to be sleeplessness is usually associated with emotional or mental tension while in people with high levels of stress, anxiety or psychological factors commonly experienced sleepwalking. Throughout “Macbeth”, the reader witnessed Macbeth and Lady Macbeth difficulties with “sleep” as their guilty conscience have been the mental factor that murders their sleep.
To Macbeth, sleep is not only a necessity of life however, something that makes life worth living. Once he has murdered Duncan, he believes to slaughter sleep as well “Sleep no more! / Macbeth does murder Sleep,” the time of relaxation and tranquility, resembling sleep, has deceased from Macbeth forever - replaced by the time of madness, horrors, fear and nightmares! Everything got its repercussion; Macbeth is receiving the consequence of his evil deeds as portrayed in Act 3 Scene II; he will tear the world apart rather than continue to “eat our meal in fear and sleep/ In the affliction of these terrible dreams/ That shake us nightly.” The Thane cannot sleep neither can his wife – from dreadful moral pain - the guilt pierce into their heart like knife through butter, stain their hand like wine on dress. In addition, his fear of vengeance by his enemies further worsen Macbeth’s symptom, Macduff “shalt not live” and “sleep in spite of thunder”, the “thunder” represents revenge for the murders he has committed as a result Macbeth is sleeplessness.
Lady Macbeth attributes Macbeth’s strange behavior to lack of sleep in Act 3 Scene IV, “You lack the season of all natures, sleep”, she is saying that without sleep anyone will go crazy. True as her word, sleep deprive her as exhibit in the scene, which Lady Macbeth sleepwalks “Here’s the smell of blood still: / all the perfumes of...