Sleepwalking Act 5 Scene 1 Hallee Carr Period 5
Historical / Biblical Significance - The sleepwalking showed the difference between the personality of Lady Macbeth in her somnambulistic and in the normal mental state, is a proof of the wide gap existing between these two types of consciousness - Sleepwalking is a sin - No Sleepwalking for Christians (1 Thessalonians 5:1-11) - Considered an association with the devil - Should refuse to spiritually sleep walk, but instead to soberly walk in wisdom should characterize the alert Christian (Ephesians 5:15-17)
Background - Shakespeare assigned prose to characters exhibiting abnormal states of mind or abnormal conditions such as somnambulism, with the regular rhythm of verse being inappropriate to characters having lost their balance of mind or subject to images or impressions with no rational connection. - + Shakespeare made the sleepwalking scene exactly conform to all the characteristics of a pathological somnambulism + Somnambulism - the subject sees and hears everything, there is a regularity of development, as the subject repeats the same words and gestures as in the original experience and finally, on a return to the normal personality after the attack is over, there is no memory for the attack, in other words, amnesia has taken place. + Lady Macbeth's recollections - the blood on her hand, the clock striking, her husband's reluctance - are brought forth from her disordered mind in chance order with each image deepening her anguish
Stories / Myths + A misconception is that if you wake up such a person from their “sleep walking”, it will be harmful + Because the sons of dis-obedience sleep walking through life are destined to experience the wrath of God + Lady Macbeth's actions during the sleepwalking scene are very complicated, show a clear memory of her past repressed experiences and are an exact reproduction and rehearsal of her experiences. + Also, she shows an amount of reasoning and association which would be impossible during during sleep and could only have taken place when consciousness was very active.
Symbols associated with your topic Lady Macbeth was always seen writing letters, re-reading them, and folding them up to be sent off the next day while she was sleepwalking. While sleepwalking, one was always dreaming. Lady Macbeth recollected all of her memories of her horrid, murderous past in her dreams and talking about them out loud as if to get closure.
Strengths and Weaknesses Strengths: It allows the audience to learn what Lady Macbeth is actually feeling about the murder. She walks about the castle, fast asleep, recollecting the horrific images and impressions from her past. Without the sleepwalking scene, the audience would still be oblivious to Lady Macbeth's involvement and what she has actually witnessed. Weakness: Lady Macbeth is in a very vulnerable and risky position while sleepwalking. The wrong people may be watching her and listening to her while she's sleepwalking and may find out sensitive information that they can use against her.
Quote Doctor: I have two nights watched you, but can perceive no truth in your report. When was it she last walked? Gentlewoman: Since her majesty went out to the field, I have seen her rise from her bed, throw her nightgown upon her, unlock her closet, take forth paper, fold it, write upon it, read it, seal it up, and again return to bed, yet all this while in a most fast sleep. Doctor:A great perturbation in nature, to receive at once the benefits of sleep, and do the effects of watching! In this slumbery agitation, besides her walking and other actual performances, what, at any time, have you heard her say? Gentlewoman:That sir which I will not report after her. Doctor:You may to me and tis most meet you should. Gentlewoman:Neither to you nor anyone. having no witness to confirm my speech.
My Interpretation I interpreted this speech about sleepwalking as a great way for Shakespeare to provide insight on matters that he would otherwise not be able to give. Lady Macbeth talking while sleepwalking was used as a way for Shakespeare to give the audience and readers information that they wouldn't learn anywhere else. This event is very important because the gentlewoman who watches Lady Macbeth sleepwalk every night has listened to the things she talks about and has very valuable information about Lady Macbeth's opinions and ideas on what they are going to do. These details would not otherwise be shared with the audience because she would not tell any other character because it is such precious information.
Works Cited http://www.art.com/products/p1775933275-sa-i4211603/artus-scheiner-lady-macbeth-sleepwalking-illustration-from-macbeth-by-william-shakespeare.htm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sleepwalking_scene_(Macbeth) http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/criminal_mind/psychology/automatism/3.html http://www.allposters.co.jp/-sp/Macbeth-Lady-Macbeth-Sleep-Walking-Posters_i1861639_.htm