Discomfort as a Symbol in Shakespeare's "Macbeth"

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William Shakespeare’s Macbeth tells a story of corruption, greed, and cruelty: all results of supernatural intervention. These elements take their toll on Macbeth and others close to him when at heart they just want to be at peace. Shakespeare made his characters mentally troubled by strange occurrences or personal problems like envy. By combining the problems with a symbol, he makes the reader realize what these characters lack. By examining sleep imagery in Macbeth, one can determine that it represents something comforting which many characters desire. This in turn helps the reader realize the characters’ feelings and how they differ from each other. The first obvious sign that sleep imagery is a representation of comfort in seen in Scene 1 of Act 2. Shortly after Macbeth and Banquo are visited by the three sisters, Banquo is troubled by their prophecy and overall weirdness. He says, “A heavy summons lies like lead upon me, and yet I would not sleep, merciful powers, restrain in me the cursed thoughts that nature gives way to in repose.” (39) The second part of this sentence show...

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