Scottish Doctor

[This is an annotated list of all appearances and all mentions of the Scottish Doctor.]

Richard Pearson as the Scottish Doctor


At the request of Lady Macbeth's waiting gentlewoman, a Scottish doctor has stayed up for two nights in a row to observe Lady Macbeth, but has seen nothing. He complains, "I have two nights watched with you, but can perceive no truth in your report. When was it she last walked?" (5.1.1-2). Soon enough he sees Lady Macbeth walk in her sleep, and he hears her says things that indicate that she was an accomplice in the murder of King Duncan. However, the doctor can do nothing except take notes and advise the waiting gentlewoman to make sure that Lady Macbeth doesn't harm herself. Detailed Scene      [Detailed Scene Summary]

As he tries to prepare himself for battle with the forces arrayed against him, Macbeth asks the doctor how Lady Macbeth is doing. The doctor replies, "Not so sick, my lord, / As she is troubled with thick coming fancies" (5.3.37-38). The "fancies" are the things that the lady sees and remembers as she walks in her sleep. Macbeth asks the doctor to cure her, but he replies, "Therein the patient / Must minister to himself" (5.3.45-46). This angers Macbeth, and he curses medicine. At the end of the scene, the doctor says that if he were away from Macbeth's castle, he would never come back again, for any amount of money. Detailed Scene      [Detailed Scene Summary]