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Macbeth - Scena II Atto II - Sleep no more

The title is given by a critic, not by Shakespeare. Macbeth is persuaded by his wife to kill king Duncan, who is guest in his house: first Macbeth has doubts about what to do, but after having killed Duncan in his bedroom while he was sleeping with two servants, he tells his wife and recalls what happened: while the servants were sleeping, he killed Duncan, but one servant laughed and the other cried murder, so they woke up each other, but after having said their prayers, they returned to sleep. When Macbeth hears them saying God bless us and Amen, he would have said Amen too, but he couldn’t, because he understood the horror of what he has just done, so he started to repent. In this sense Lady Macbeth said to him that he must not to think about that, or he would get mad, but finally she’ll get mad and she’ll kill herself. But Macbeth kept thinking to the crime and heard a voice saying that people should sleep no more, because Macbeth has killed the sleep, and started to make a comparison between the sleep and the death of daily life, the begin of unconscious life; sleep is what clean the pain of work, stops daily worries and brings order, so all the metaphors give a definition of sleep and are all positive. So Macbeth has done a very serious thing and for that he will not sleep anymore, because he will be caught in fears and doubts. He’s called Glamis and Cawdor, because before becoming king of Scotland he was Earl of Glamis, and Earl of Cawdor. Lady Macbeth wants him to wash his hands and be resolute, instead of thinking, so she makes him take back the daggers in the king’s room, because in this way the servants would be accused. But Macbeth is afraid of what he has done and he doesn’t dare to return in the room. So the wife put the daggers in the room because she said that who is sleeping and who is dead can’t do nothing, like pictures, and only children are afraid to see bad pictures. Later Macbeth wonders if all the water of ocean will be enough to clean the blood on his hands and he thinks that will be the ocean to become red. On the contrary his wife believes that a little of water will clean her hands, and she said that she shame for not shaming. When she hears knocking, she wanted them to wear the nightgown in order not to appear life they haven’t gone to the bed yet. But Macbeth says that if he really did that horror, he prefers not to recognize himself and he wishes Duncan woke up because of knocking, because it would mean that Duncan is still alive.

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