Lady Macbeth Sleepwalking Analysis

Sleepwalking Scene of William Shakespeare's Macbeth

The sleepwalking scene reveals Lady Macbeth’s state of mind after the
murder of Duncan, Banquo and Lady Macduff.

In the beginning of the scene, the doctor doubted about Lady Macbeth
sleepwalking. He is saying he “perceive no truth “ about what the
gentlewoman said. He is exasperated at first. He said “I have two
night watched with you” and it seems nothing strange has happened to
Lady Macbeth. Then, he was analysing sensibly about sleepwalking.
However, his emotions change dramatically when he saw Lady Macbeth
holding a candle with her. He was shocked. After that, he listened to
Lady Macbeth saying about the old man “to have so much blood” and saw
her rubbing her hand, he feels more nervous and this is the changing
point which the doctor is shocked and amazed by what he saw and heard.
He saw Lady Macbeth came by a light with her eyes open but “sense are

Shakespeare draws audiences’ attentions to Lady Macbeth carrying a
light by the doctor’s speech. Doctor says “How came she by that
light?” to draw audiences’ attention. Shakespeare uses this to
emphasise that Lady Macbeth is afraid of the dark because she called
on evil to possess on her: “unsex me here, And fill me, from the crown
to the toe, top full Of direct cruelty!”

Lady Macbeth’s first action was rubbing her hands and this echoes the
scene that she put the daggers back after Duncan’s murder and her
hands are full of blood. She tries to wash the blood off but she says,
“the perfume of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand.” Shakespeare
uses the blood as a symbol of her guilty conscience that she can never
forget what she has done. Apart from that, Shakespeare presents Lady
Macbeth as very childish when she says, “Thane of Fife had a wife”.
Her childish language shows vulnerability. Moreover, she was trying to
wash off the blood from her “little hand”. She sounds childish because
she has lost her sensibility that...