What does the doctor think about Lady Macbeth's condition and what to do before telling Macbeth?Thanks

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lsumner | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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In Macbeth, the doctor feels there is no medical cure for Lady Macbeth. He insinuates that she is in need a spiritual healing. Lady Macbeth is trying to wash bloodstains from her hands. She appears to be doing this while sleep walking:

Out, damned spot! Out, I say! One; two; why, then it is
time to do it. Hell is murky! For shame, my lord, for shame! A soldier,
and afeard? What need we fear who knows it, when none can call
our power to account? Yet who would have thought the old man to
have had so much blood in him?

Clearly, Lady Macbeth is reacting out of guilt of being a part of King Duncan's murder. She cannot rid herself of the guilt. She was instrumental in the killing of King Duncan. She persuaded Macbeth to do so. Now, she is losing her sanity. She cannot find rest even when she should be sleeping. The doctor states that he cannot help her with medicine. He claims that she needs a spiritual healing:

She needs the divine more than she needs the physician.
God, God, forgive us all! Look after her.
Take everything from her that she might use to harm herself,
And still keep your eyes on her. So, good-night.
She has stupefied my mind, and amazed my sight.
I think, but dare not speak.

Truly, the doctor feels that Lady Macbeth's condition is beyond his parctice:

This disease is beyond my practice. Yet I have known those
which have walked in their sleep who have died holily in
their beds.

Sources:

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