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mstultz72 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The better question is "Who's not been sleeping in the play Macbeth?"

The answer is the Macbeths.

In Act II, after they murder Duncan in his sleep, they begin to hear haunting sounds:

MACBETH: I have done the deed. Didst thou not hear a noise?

LADY MACBETH:  I heard the owl scream and the crickets cry.

Did not you speak?

Later, Macbeth thinks he hears laughing and voices:

There's one did laugh in's sleep, and one cried
That they did wake each other: I stood and heard them:
But they did say their prayers, and address'd them
Again to sleep.


One cried 'God bless us!' and 'Amen' the other;
As they had seen me with these hangman's hands.
Listening their fear, I could not say 'Amen,'
When they did say 'God bless us!'


Still it cried 'Sleep no more!' to all the house:
'Glamis hath murder'd sleep, and therefore Cawdor
Shall sleep no more; Macbeth shall sleep no more.'

Both characters will have trouble sleeping for the rest of the play, such is there paranoia and guilt.  In particular, Lady Macbeth will sleepwalk, continually washing her hands and repeating conversations she had that fateful night.  The lack of sleep will drive her mad, to the point of suicide.


Doug Stuva eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Your question is a bit vague, don't you think?  (I'm using understatement.)  Which play?  Which act?  Which scene?  What novel, for that matter.

Somehow, your question has been categorized as belonging in the Macbeth group, so I'll answer it accordingly.

I assume you're asking about the Porter.  He is apparently sleeping off a hangover when knocking on the door of Macbeth's castle wakes him.  We see him on stage moving very slowly and in no hurry to answer the door.   He eventually answers it.

The scene serves as comic relief between the assassination of Duncan and the discovery of the body.

upgrayedd | Student

The King

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