The famous sleep-walking scene is the creative imagination of Shakespeare! The scene is ‘greatest peak of all tragic conception’. Here Shakespeare introduces the tragedy of Lady Macbeth! Nemesis takes care the lady by killing her sleep forever!
She sleeps and remains awake at the same time! Doctor explains an agitation of mind! Macbeth realizes the real fact! The same disease of mind which hunting both of them. Lady Macbeth enters with a taper in her hand and lighted it continually. Darkness horrifies her! In sleep her mind cursed in dreadful memories! She rubs her hands continuously in an attempt to wipe out the smell of blood! She says, all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten her little hand. Old memories come disorderly! She recalls her husband before the murder, “who dares receive it other.” The sight of Duncan lying in a pool of blood remain an abstract memory; the horror in her sleep! She asks Macbeth about the wife and the child of Macduff! His hands are red with blood. Thus Lady Macbeth reveals the secrets done by Macbeth. Then again the old persistent vision of the bloody hands come back to scare her mind! She remembers the Banquet scene where she exhorts her husband and goes back to bed. This is the picture of the broken lady who walks at night and recalls in a disorderly way the detail of the crime and the fatality.
The earlier scene gives many indications of the development of the lady. Before the sleep-walking scene Lady Macbeth appears twice; once in the murder scene and next in the Banquet scene. In the murder scene she appeals to the murdering ministers to unsex her, so that she can kill Duncan! Thus she actually betrays with the womanliness in her! In the Banquet scene, she looks exhausted and listless. She did not welcome the guests! She pulls up her energy and courage to bring Macbeth out from the situation that created at watching at the ghost! Portraying these early pictures of the lady, Shakespeare prepares the audience for the upcoming sleep-walking scene! Shakespeare’s’ genius introduces us with such a well plotted dramatic situation!
The sleep-walking scene is filled with ironical overtones. After murdering Duncan Macbeth says, “Macbeth doth murder sleep.” The comment is indeed an irony for Lady Macbeth, who becomes the walker between the two world? Macbeth says, “All great Neptune’s ocean will not wash the blood off his hand.”
Lady Macbeth’s sleep-walking scene is also the invitation of the climax. The scene is half prose; the words of Lady Macbeth has the ring of highest poetry as they are charged with emotion!