Act V – Scene.i
Lady Macbeth suffers from a psychological disorder and she sleepwalks and
talks in fits and starts, remembering events from the murders of Duncan and also references to Banquo and Lady Macduff. Her doctor and maid overhear her incriminating words.
The audience are now witness to a dramatic change in
Lady Macbeth from the early scenes of the play.
She is now truly mad and her mind flits from one subject to the next. She can still see the blood on her hands and however much she washes, she cannot get rid of the stain.
“Out damned spot: out I say.
The Thane of Fife had a wife: where is she now? What will these hands never be clean? ''''''''. Here’s the smell of blood still: all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand”.
It is sad to see this once confident woman turned into a gibbering creature,
muttering incoherently. Those who attend her, the doctor and maid, are clearly suspicious of her and the part she played in the recent murders.
The doctor is unable to bring about a cure and suggests that some divine intervention is required, and she would be better seeing a priest. Shakespeare creates a black atmosphere through the words and the fact that this scene is played in complete darkness with the exception of one candle, which Lady Macbeth keeps close by her. She is now concerned about her immortal soul and hopes that she can find rest in another world, for at present she undergoes a sleepless existence.