суровая розмари
Я недосягаем для ваших дерзновенных аргументов и дедукций
Motif of Sleep in Macbeth

The motif of sleep in Macbeth foreshadows the future or stands as a transition between life and death. Sleep is a sanctuary to many, after a long, challenging day one wants to escape to a utopia of calmness and (hope to) wake up an energized man. It is also a time of hallucination and dreams, your mind is at work triggering thoughts—some pleasant and some not. Shakespeare clearly defines sleep as an escape haven in one manner and as an ominous place in the other. Some might not be able to fall asleep because they are worrying about a problem. Some people are killed during their sleep and don’t wake up. Within the first few acts alone, sleep is a main part of the character’s lives.

The first time Shakespeare introduces a real dilemma during sleeping hours, Macbeth is obsessing over the killing of King Duncan. He twists and turns, unable to calm himself.

“Nature seems dead, and the wicked dreams abuse the curtained sleep…” (2.1 62-63)

Macbeth struggles to sleep while the thoughts of the killing haunt his head. He relishes this idea of a calm, “curtained” sleep. With the murder of Duncan, Macbeth worries that he will not be able to rest because the, ‘wicked dreams’ will prevent it. “Sleep no more! Macbeth does murder sleep! – the innocent sleep, sleep that knits up the raveled sleave of care…” (2.2 47-48) The innocent sleep in this quote reflects the innocent man (Duncan). After the killing of Duncan, Macbeth talks with Lady Macbeth about how he will not rest now for he has murdered “sleep”.

“Shall sleep no more. Macbeth shall sleep no more.” (2.2 57)

Macbeth cries that with the murdering of Duncan came the murdering of his calm, peaceful nights.

At the feast for the arrival of Duncan at the beginning of the book, most guests of the house drink too much alcohol. The next day, a knock is at the door of the estate, prior to the knowledge of the king’s death. As Macduff enters to the Porter, the Porter insists on telling him of the greatness of drunkenness. “What three things does drink especially provoke?” (2.3 27-28) Macduff asks the Porter,

“…Nose-painting, sleep, and urine. Lechery, sir, it provokes and unprovokes. It provokes the desire, but it takes away the performance…. In conclusion, equivocates him in a sleep and, giving him the lie, leaves him. (2.3 30-38)”

The Porter, still inebriated since the party, rambles that sleep gives a man great dreams. Dreaming is a feature of sleep that the Porter describes as wonderful for men that don’t have a reality of intimacy with women.

Another example regarding sleep is the occurrences after the death of Duncan. Macduff hurries to ring the alarm bell and warn the sleepers in the estate that a tragedy has just occurred. Lady Macbeth (pretending that she doesn’t know about the events of that night) rushes in, startled at the noise. In her nightclothes, she warns Macduff,

“what’s the business, that such’ a hideous trumpet calls to parley the sleepers of the house? Speak, speak!” (2.3 93-96)

After the party, the entire home fell into a deep sleep. This was a mutual act, defining sleep as a calm way to end the day. She marks the (assumed) raucous actions of Macduff to be negative for he is waking many from their precious and needed sleep. She then calls the trumpet Macduff uses ‘hideous’ to disturb sleep. This is similar to the killing of Duncan— disturbing sleep is horrible as is killing one during their sleep.

The motif of sleep in Macbeth is an escape in a way we saw above with the lack of intimacy in reality causing men to use sleep and as a peaceful state where your mind is (hopefully) at rest. There are endless examples, subliminally hidden, to show that precious sleep is and how it is interrupted often (in this book) by distress. Shakespeare also foreshadows events in the book in dreams which occur while one is asleep. It is an important motif in the book because it shows frustration in ones character when something interrupts it, then the mood of the situation is demonstrated. Sleep is an important feature in this book and such an innocent act is very unpredictable.

@темы: Впечатления