Sleepwalking Lady Macbeth

Sleepwalking Lady Macbeth (1784), by Swiss painter Johann Heinrich Füssli, illustrates the famous sleepwalking scene in Shakespeare’s tragedy. After persuading Macbeth to murder King Duncan, Lady Macbeth appears again in the 1st Scene of Act V sleepwalking, this time mad and guilt-wracked. Although nothing in her previous behaviour suggested such an inner conflict, as Freud notes, the character moves abruptly from firm ruthlessness to a state of complete dissolution and insanity – which she inadvertently reveals in sleep.

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