Macbeth

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Sleep Symbol Icon
When he murders Duncan, Macbeth thinks he hears a voice say "Macbeth does murder sleep" (2.2.34). Sleep symbolizes innocence, purity, and peace of mind, and in killing Duncan Macbeth actually does murder sleep: Lady Macbeth begins to sleepwalk, and Macbeth is haunted by his nightmares.
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Sleep Symbol Timeline in Macbeth

The timeline below shows where the symbol Sleep appears in Macbeth. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 2, scene 1
Nature and the Unnatural Theme Icon
Macbeth enters. Banquo tells Macbeth his sleep has been troubled by dreams of the weird sisters. Macbeth claims never to think about... (full context)
Act 2, scene 2
Ambition Theme Icon
Fate Theme Icon
Violence Theme Icon
Nature and the Unnatural Theme Icon
...and he's upset that when one of the attendants said "God bless us" in his sleep, he was unable to say "Amen." He also thought he heard a voice say "Macbeth... (full context)
Act 3, scene 2
Ambition Theme Icon
Fate Theme Icon
Violence Theme Icon
...someone might try to kill him as he killed Duncan, and seems envious of Duncan's "sleep" (3.2.25). (full context)
Act 5, scene 1
Violence Theme Icon
Nature and the Unnatural Theme Icon
...and a gentlewoman wait. The gentlewoman called the doctor because she has seen Lady Macbeth sleepwalking the last few nights, but she refuses to say what Lady Macbeth says or does. (full context)