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How has Macbeth "murdered Sleep?"No

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lissie26 | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 22, 2007 at 6:15 AM via web

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How has Macbeth "murdered Sleep?"

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cmcqueeney | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted October 22, 2007 at 6:28 AM (Answer #1)

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By killing Duncan in his sleep, Macbeth has brought tremendous guilt on himself and imagines he hears a voice saying "Macbeth has murdered sleep!"  He feels he will never sleep again because he destroyed the slumber (and life) of Duncan.  Ironically enough, his wife's sleep is also destroyed by guilt as we see later when she is sleep walking.

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amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted October 22, 2007 at 10:56 AM (Answer #3)

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One who can not sleep typically harbors a busy mind or a guilty conscience or a combo of the two.  Those who are innocent are able to slumber peacefully.  Macbeth has murdered sleep for himself and also for his wife (who later sleepwalks as a result of her guilt) because he takes the innocent life of Duncan who trusts Macbeth both as his loyal countryman and as his host.  Macbeth has broken many rules by taking Duncan's life, and he will never be able to sleep peacefully again as a result of it.

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