Interpretation, and Critique
Academic Criticism: Literature
Lady Macbeth’s Scene from Macbeth
Academic Criticism: Art
Lady Macbeth sleepwalking
Academic Criticism: Theater
Michael Lynch’s Stage Adaptation
Step 1: Observe
Whilst sleeping walking, Lady Macbeth is conversing about the murders
of other characters in the play such as King Duncan and Banquo. One can
assume from her actions and feelings expressed that she feels guilt.
The photo shows Lady Macbeth holding a candle while sleepwalking. She
seems to be out of her senses.
While sleepwalking, Lady Macbeth walks down the stairs holding a
candle. There are two people at the bottom of the stairs that seem either frightened
or confused by her talking in her sleep.
Step 2: Question
Why does one feel remorse for something she encouraged to happen?
How did Lady Macbeth light the candle she is holding in her sleep?
Is Lady Macbeth talking to herself in her sleep or does she believe
she is having a conversation with someone else in her dream, and if so, who?
Step 3: Analyze
Lady Macbeth states, “Will these hands ne’er be clean.” One can assume
she is referencing the murder of Duncan in this quote and trying to either physically
or mentally “get the blood off her hands.” Referencing the same topic,
Macbeth says, “I’ll tell you again, Banquo’s buried; ‘a cannot come out of
his grave.” To put it in simpler terms, each one is trying to express it is
impossible to undo their actions, or bring the dead back to life.
In the image, there seems to be two other people observing Lady
Macbeth sleepwalking whilst carrying a candle and ranting about the murder.
When you hear Lady Macbeth talking in her sleep, it appears that she
is arguing with someone. She is going through a list of reasons why she should
Step 4: Evaluate
I feel as Lady Macbeth is sleeping, her actions begin to haunt her. This
causes her to sleepwalk and talk about the guilt she feels for the actions
she encouraged. Another reason for her sleepwalking may be that she hasn’t
opened up to anyone about the event so it’s becoming present in her dreams
and sleep walking while talking about it is a way for her body to somewhat
release those feelings that are built up.
I believe the reason Lady Macbeth is carrying a candle because she
doesn’t want to be surrounded by darkness in this time. She is scared and has
a lot of guilt, so I feel as if she is scared of very little things because
of the trauma she is enduring from what she caused.
From the manner she is using while discussing her worries, she seems
to be dreaming about talking to Macbeth about the situation. I think the dream
occurred because she held her feelings inside for so long that she felt so “bottled
up” and had to let them out.
the text, picture, and play provided to complete this assignment, I have
concluded there are many similarities between each source. One of the first
things I noticed while completing this was that Lady Macbeth kept the murder of
King Duncan to herself besides telling her husband, Macbeth. While sleep
walking with people observing her, she discloses the murder of Duncan. The
second similarity I noticed was that both the text and the picture make Lady
Macbeth’s feelings of the murders come to the surface and be a very important
part of the story. She seems to feel lots of guilt and may even regret her
decisions to encourage the actions of murder. Third, I noticed that in the play,
Lady Macbeth quotes the source text. While sleepwalking in the play, she is
walking down a hallway and there are two people by her side. They are watching
her as she openly confesses to the murders. The picture includes a lot of the
same aspects. She is coming down a set of steps holding a candle and two people
are closely listening to her as she opens up. Finally, all of the sources include
Lady Macbeth sleepwalking, two people being in her presence, and her looking
frightened and guilty. To sum up, she is confessing her actions in her sleep
because she is feeling major remorse. All sources given portray this observation.