WORD LISTS

"A Midsummer Night's Dream," Vocabulary from Act 1

October 24, 2013
As you read William Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (etext found here), learn these word lists for the play: Act 1, Act 2, Act 3, Act 4, Act 5
linger
O, methinks, how slow
This old moon wanes! she lingers my desires
mirth
Stir up the Athenian youth to merriments;
Awake the pert and nimble spirit of mirth;
melancholy
Turn melancholy forth to funerals;
The pale companion is not for our pomp.
pomp
Hippolyta, I woo'd thee with my sword,
And won thy love, doing thee injuries;
But I will wed thee in another key,
With pomp, with triumph and with revelling.
vexation
Full of vexation come I, with complaint
Against my child, my daughter Hermia.
feign
Thou hast by moonlight at her window sung,
With feigning voice verses of feigning love
cunning
With cunning hast thou filch'd my daughter's heart,
Turn'd her obedience, which is due to me,
To stubborn harshness
entreat
I do entreat your grace to pardon me.
abjure
Either to die the death or to abjure
For ever the society of men.
austerity
Upon that day either prepare to die
For disobedience to your father's will,
Or else to wed Demetrius, as he would;
Or on Diana's altar to protest
For aye austerity and single life.
relent
Relent, sweet Hermia: and, Lysander, yield
Thy crazed title to my certain right.
extenuate
For you, fair Hermia, look you arm yourself
To fit your fancies to your father's will;
Or else the law of Athens yields you up--
Which by no means we may extenuate--
To death, or to a vow of single life.
edict
If then true lovers have been ever cross'd,
It stands as an edict in destiny:
Then let us teach our trial patience,
Because it is a customary cross
prosper
I swear to thee, by Cupid's strongest bow,
By his best arrow with the golden head,
By the simplicity of Venus' doves,
By that which knitteth souls and prospers loves
wont
And in the wood, where often you and I
Upon faint primrose-beds were wont to lie,
Emptying our bosoms of their counsel sweet,
There my Lysander and myself shall meet;
transpose
Things base and vile, folding no quantity,
Love can transpose to form and dignity
forswear
And therefore is Love said to be a child,
Because in choice he is so oft beguiled.
As waggish boys in game themselves forswear,
So the boy Love is perjured every where:
interlude
Here is the scroll of every man's name, which is thought fit, through all Athens, to play in our interlude before the duke and the duchess, on his wedding-day at night.
lamentable
Marry, our play is, the most lamentable comedy, and most cruel death of Pyramus and Thisby.
gallant
A lover, that kills himself most gallant for love.
condole
That will ask some tears in the true performing of it: if I do it, let the audience look to their eyes; I will move storms, I will condole in some measure.
extempore
You may do it extempore, for it is nothing but roaring.
discretion
I grant you, friends, if that you should fright the ladies out of their wits, they would have no more discretion but to hang us: but I will aggravate my voice so that I will roar you as gently as any sucking dove; I will roar you as 'twere any nightingale.
tawny
I will discharge it in either your straw-colour beard, your orange-tawny beard, your purple-in-grain beard, or your French-crown-colour beard, your perfect yellow.
device
But, masters, here are your parts: and I am to entreat you, request you and desire you, to con them by tomorrow night; and meet me in the palace wood, a mile without the town, by moonlight; there will we rehearse, for if we meet in the city, we shall be dogged with company, and our devices known.

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