This was another one that had me stumped for a while, until I considered it literally and thought, “what is my favourite scene?” The answer then became pretty obvious, as my favourite scene from a play is Lady Macbeth’s sleepwalking scene from William Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’. So I dug out my leather bound ‘Complete Works of Shakespeare’ and tracked down Act Five, Scene One.
‘Macbeth’ is the story of a Scottish Thane, who encounters some witches on his way back from battle. They promise him titles beyond his belief, particularly when they predict that he will be king. He is shortly informed that he has been awarded the position of Thane of Cawdor, a title the witches had promised. As the predictions come true, Macbeth and his scheming wife become ambitious and plot to kill the King. Once they have done this, Macbeth receives the crown as the witches promised – but the guilt is too much to live with.
In Act Five, Scene One, Lady Macbeth is sleepwalking and talking, and reveals the crime her and her husband committed to a Doctor and a maid.
‘Yet here’s a spot. Out, damned spot! out I say!…The thane of Fife had a wife; where is she now? What, will these hands ne’er be clean!’
I’m the least likely person to ever be an actor, but if I did act for any reason, the one part I would play would be Lady Macbeth. I love the way this scene depicts her mental decline due to the guilt she feels. It is definitely my favourite scene – from any play or novel. I love the way it reads and how successfully it can be performed. It is such a haunting and atmospheric scene.