In this quotation we can take sleep to mean two things.
The dictionary tells me that in Ancient Greece the word tyrant was synonymous with usurper — in other words someone who had seized power without any legal right to do so.
The more common understanding of the word tyrant is of a ruler who is oppressive and unjust; one who exercises their power in a harsh cruel way. Tyrants lack moral fibre; they are selfish and arbitrary, acting on whim or impulse and having no care for the impact of their behaviour on their subjects.
They demand absolute obedience, disregard both law and custom and are thus often also described as dictators. Well first off, he is undoubtedly a usurper. He commits the ultimate crime of regicide, thus challenging both the Great Chain of Being and the Divine Rights of Kings.
However, his behaviour once he achieves his goal of becoming King is unquestionably oppressive and unjust. So is he decision to hire murderers to kill Banquo and his son Fleance tyrannical?
Yes in the sense that they are innocents who have committed no crime. However, Macbeth is not yet acting on whim or impulse — in its own twisted way his decision to murder them makes absolute sense.
The Banquet scene is a pivotal moment however.
Macbeth now appears to be completely losing his grasp on the difference between right and wrong: Interestingly all of this happens before Macbeth orders the murders of Lady Macduff and her children. If we accept what these men say at face value then it appears that Macbeth is not looking after the poor give to our tables meat and that the entire country lives in a state of paranoia and insomnia, unable to sleep for fear that they will be murdered in their beds.
Nonetheless most of what they say if not entirely factually accurate is based on fact so we can certainly conclude that at this point he is widely considered a tyrant by his subjects. If we revisit the definition of a tyrant for a moment, a tyrant is someone who 1 demands absolute obedience; 2 one who acts on whim or impulse in a cruel and arbitrary way; 3 one who disregards both law and custom and who lacks any moral fibre.
Now lets apply this to his latest decision. Thirdly, Macbeth is profoundly contravening both custom and morality in murdering innocent women and children. So why does he do it? Probably to send out the message that those who disobey him will have his wrath visited not only on their heads but also upon their loved ones.
So does he remain a tyrant for the rest of the play? During the battle to overthrow Macbeth we learn that those who obeyed Macbeth through fear rather than loyalty are now deserting him and switching sides.
So was he a tyrant to the bitter end? So I guess we can conclude that Macbeth is an oddly likeable tyrant? Who knew such a thing existed!Lady Macbeth. Lady Macbeth is one of Shakespeare’s most famous and frightening female characters. When we first see her, she is already plotting Duncan’s murder, and she is stronger, more ruthless, and more ambitious than her husband.
Methought I heard a voice cry “Sleep no more!/Macbeth does murder sleep”—the innocent sleep,/ Sleep that knits up the raveled sleave of care,/ The death of each day’s life, sore labor’s. Macbeth "Sleep no more" analysis Methought I heard a voice cry, “Sleep no more! Macbeth does murder sleep”—the innocent sleep, Sleep that knits up the raveled sleave of care, The death of each day’s life, sore labor’s bath, Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course.
Macbeth Does Murder Sleep The Motif of Sleep in Shakespeare's Macbeth Sleep is Peace “Sleep is something that [Macbeth] knows he will need in order to feel peaceful and well-rested” (White). Insomnia is one of the things Macbeth worries about as he considers killing King Duncan, because he knows that sleep is essential to his peace of mind.
Act 2, scenes 1–2 Summary: Act 2, scene 1. Banquo and his son Fleance walk in the torch-lit hall of Macbeth’s castle. Fleance says that it is after midnight, and his father responds that although he is tired, he wishes to stay awake because his sleep has lately inspired “cursed thoughts” ().
Thus his appetite is further whetted for murder. Bursting with pride and ambition, Macbeth sends a letter home to his wife, Lady Macbeth, informing her of the prediction of the witches, who “have more in them than mortal knowledge” (), that he will one day become king.