How Does Shakespeare Present Lady Mcbeths Tortured Imagination Essay
1405 WordsOct 4, 20146 Pages
How does Shakespeare present Lady Macbeth’s tortured imagination?
In Act 5 Scene 1, a Doctor is watching Lady Macbeth in her sleep as a Gentlewoman has reported that she has been sleepwalking. The Doctor says ‘I have two nights watched with you, but can perceive no truth in your report.’ She has not sleepwalked every night, perhaps showing the two different sides to her. One side which we have most often seen, the heartless and remorseless, sleeps peacefully and without worry of the murders. The other side, slowly taking over, shows her subconscious guilt through her sleepwalking. He asks the Gentlewoman when she last walked, and she replied that it started ‘Since his majesty went into the field’. This could mean a number of things. She could feel more relaxed now that Macbeth has left, as the roles have reversed and he is very much the one in control in their marriage and she may well be scared of him, therefore feeling she could express herself more. However, she may be feeling tenser as he is fighting and if he dies they could lose their title, so she is thinking more of the murders, and whether they were worth it. On the other hand, it could be because she is worrying about Macbeth and he gives her stability, without him she feels vulnerable.
The Doctor says Lady Macbeth’s actions are ‘A great perturbation in nature’. He has realised that something is seriously wrong, out of the ordinary of his usual cases. ‘In this slumbery agitation.’ He can tell that something is bothering her deeply and becomes more interested in what she does while sleepwalking. He asks the Gentlewoman what she has heard Lady Macbeth say in her sleep, to which she replies, ‘I will not report after her.’ The Doctor insists, but she again refuses. This shows how loyal she is to Lady Macbeth, perhaps implying that Lady Macbeth is very kind to people in normal circumstances, without her