What does Lady Macbeth mention about the assassinations of Duncan, Macduff and Banquo in act 5, scene 4 during her sleepwalk?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

It is actually Act V, Scene 1 when Lady Macbeth sleepwalks. She is paranoid with fear and guilt. This has led to an increase in her general anxiety and resulted in her sleepwalking. She mentions Banquo’s murder and alludes to one of the prophecies of the witches that Banquo’s sons will sit on the throne. She does not mention anything about the deaths of Macduff's family.

She never explicitly mentions Duncan’s murder. She alludes to it. The most significant event during her sleepwalking is washing her hands. Her fear and guilt have led her to obsessively wash her hands in her sleep. She is trying to erase the stain of guilt. She mentions she still has the smell of Duncan’s blood on her hands. This is the scene when she utters the famous line, “Out damn spot!” She can’t escape the guilt.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team