What is the significance of the sleep-walking scene in Macbeth?

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chaudhurimr | College Teacher | (Level 1) Honors

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Though Macbeth calls his wife 'my dearest partner of greatness', they are, as Freud described them, 'two disunited parts of a single psychical individuality'. At the beginning Macbeth's 'milk of human kindness' is pitted against the terrifying and witch like 'direst cruelty' of Lady Macbeth in her murderous ambition and antimaternal feelings. But at the end when Macbeth strides strongly in a violent but restless anarchy, she becomes ultimately reduced to a sleepwalker. Her beseeching an inhuman and unfeminine ferocity takes its toll when her dormant human conscience makes her almost insane. The sleep walking scene symbolises the psychological disorder of Lady Macbeth and reveal how she becomes a figure of isolation and a victim of one’s own conscience.

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chaudhurimr | College Teacher | (Level 1) Honors

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The Sleep walking scene is a masterstroke to unveil the character of Lady Macbeth. Though Macbeth calls his wife 'my dearest partner of greatness', they are, as Freud described them, 'two disunited parts of a single psychical individuality'. At the beginning Macbeth's 'milk of human kindness' is pitted against the terrifying and witch like 'direst cruelty' of Lady Macbeth in her murderous ambition and antimaternal feelings. But at the end when Macbeth strides strongly in a violent but restless anarchy, she becomes ultimately reduced to a sleepwalker. Her beseeching an inhuman and unfeminine ferocity takes its toll when her dormant human conscience makes her almost insane. The sleep walking scene symbolises the psychological disorder of Lady Macbeth and reveal how she becomes a figure of isolation and a victim of one’s own conscience.

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francy17 | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) Salutatorian

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For me the significance of this scene was to show the audience how all the murder was affecting Lady Macbeth... how her flagitious attitude changed. Lady Macbeth became the weaker half.

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