Doctor is a minor character in William Shakespeare's play, Macbeth. Despite his limited stage time, Doctor plays a significant role in the development of the plot and the overall themes of the play.
Doctor is first introduced in Act V, Scene 1, when he is summoned by Lady Macbeth's gentlewoman to witness her strange behavior. He observes Lady Macbeth sleepwalking and muttering about the murders she and her husband have committed. The Doctor realizes that her condition is beyond his medical expertise and suggests that her ailment is more spiritual than physical.
In this pivotal scene, the Doctor reveals his insights into the human mind and the consequences of guilt. He remarks, "More needs she the divine than the physician." This statement highlights the Doctor's understanding that Lady Macbeth's sleepwalking is a manifestation of her guilt and remorse. It also emphasizes the play's central theme of the destructive power of unchecked ambition.
Throughout the play, Doctor serves as a moral compass, providing commentary on the characters' actions and their psychological states. He witnesses the consequences of Macbeth's unchecked ambition and the toll it takes on his mental and physical well-being. The Doctor's observations offer a critical perspective on the corrupting influence of power and the human capacity for evil.
Furthermore, Doctor's presence in the play serves to highlight the juxtaposition between the supernatural and the natural world. While the witches and their prophecies propel the plot forward, the Doctor represents the rational and logical side of society. His skepticism towards the supernatural elements in the play offers a counterbalance to the characters' susceptibility to manipulation and their descent into madness.
Although Doctor's role in Macbeth is relatively brief, his significance should not be overlooked. His observations and diagnosis shed light on the characters' inner conflicts and the moral decay that pervades the play. As a symbol of reason and morality, the Doctor provides a contrasting perspective to the dark and chaotic world of Macbeth.