WORD LISTS

"The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark" by William Shakespeare, Act 1

April 1, 2013
Shakespeare's famous tragedy tells the story of a Danish prince who must decide whether or not to avenge his father's death. Read the full text here.

Here are links to our lists for the play: Act 1, Act 2, Act 3, Act 4, Act 5
entreat
Therefore I have entreated him along
With us to watch the minutes of this night,
That, if again this apparition come,
He may approve our eyes and speak to it.
harrow
BARNARDO: Looks he not like the King? Mark it, Horatio.
HORATIO: Most like. It harrows me with fear and wonder.
usurp
What art thou that usurp'st this time of night,
Together with that fair and warlike form
In which the majesty of buried Denmark
Did sometimes march?
moiety
...our valiant Hamlet
(For so this side of our known world esteemed him)
Did slay this Fortinbras, who by a sealed compact,
Well ratified by law and heraldry,
Did forfeit, with his life, all those his lands
Which he stood seized of, to the conqueror.
Against the which a moiety competent
Was gagèd by our king
portentous
Well may it sort that this portentous figure
Comes armèd through our watch so like the king
That was and is the question of these wars.
harbinger
As harbingers preceding still the fates
And prologue to the omen coming on,
Have heaven and Earth together demonstrated
Unto our climatures and countrymen.
hallowed
The nights are wholesome; then no planets strike,
No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,
So hallowed and so gracious is that time.
discretion
Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother’s death
The memory be green, and that it us befitted
To bear our hearts in grief, and our whole kingdom
To be contracted in one brow of woe,
Yet so far hath discretion fought with nature
That we with wisest sorrow think on him
Together with remembrance of ourselves.
auspicious
Therefore our sometime sister, now our queen,
Th’ imperial jointress to this warlike state,
Have we (as ’twere with a defeated joy,
With an auspicious and a dropping eye,
With mirth in funeral and with dirge in marriage,
In equal scale weighing delight and dole)
Taken to wife.
mirth
Therefore our sometime sister, now our queen,
Th’ imperial jointress to this warlike state,
Have we (as ’twere with a defeated joy,
With an auspicious and a dropping eye,
With mirth in funeral and with dirge in marriage,
In equal scale weighing delight and dole)
Taken to wife.
dirge
Therefore our sometime sister, now our queen,
Th’ imperial jointress to this warlike state,
Have we (as ’twere with a defeated joy,
With an auspicious and a dropping eye,
With mirth in funeral and with dirge in marriage,
In equal scale weighing delight and dole)
Taken to wife.
beseech
I do beseech you, give him leave to go.
visage
’Tis not alone my inky cloak, good mother,
Nor customary suits of solemn black,
Nor windy suspiration of forced breath,
No, nor the fruitful river in the eye,
Nor the dejected havior of the visage,
Together with all forms, moods, shapes of grief,
That can denote me truly.
trappings
These indeed “seem,”
For they are actions that a man might play;
But I have that within which passes show,
These but the trappings and the suits of woe.
filial
But you must know your father lost a father,
That father lost, lost his, and the survivor bound
In filial obligation for some term
To do obsequious sorrow.
impious
But to persever
In obstinate condolement is a course
Of impious stubbornness.
retrograde
For your intent
In going back to school in Wittenberg,
It is most retrograde to our desire,
And we beseech you, bend you to remain
Here in the cheer and comfort of our eye,
Our chiefest courtier, cousin, and our son.
jocund
This gentle and unforced accord of Hamlet
Sits smiling to my heart, in grace whereof
No jocund health that Denmark drinks today
But the great cannon to the clouds shall tell,
And the King’s rouse the heaven shall bruit again,
Respeaking earthly thunder.
countenance
A countenance more in sorrow than in anger.
grizzled
HAMLET: His beard was grizzled, no?
HORATIO: It was as I have seen it in his life,
A sable silvered.
besmirch
Perhaps he loves you now,
And now no soil nor cautel doth besmirch
The virtue of his will
chary
The chariest maid is prodigal enough
If she unmask her beauty to the moon.
prodigal
The chariest maid is prodigal enough
If she unmask her beauty to the moon.
libertine
But, good my brother,
Do not, as some ungracious pastors do,
Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven,
Whiles, like a puffed and reckless libertine,
Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads
And recks not his own rede.
dalliance
But, good my brother,
Do not, as some ungracious pastors do,
Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven,
Whiles, like a puffed and reckless libertine,
Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads
And recks not his own rede.
unfledged
Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
Grapple them unto thy soul with hoops of steel,
But do not dull thy palm with entertainment
Of each new-hatched, unfledged courage.
censure
Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice.
Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment.
behoove
If it be so (as so ’tis put on me,
And that in way of caution), I must tell you
You do not understand yourself so clearly
As it behooves my daughter and your honor.
parley
Set your entreatments at a higher rate
Than a command to parle.
beguile
In few, Ophelia,
Do not believe his vows, for they are brokers,
Not of that dye which their investments show,
But mere implorators of unholy suits,
Breathing like sanctified and pious bawds
The better to beguile.
traduce
This heavy-headed revel east and west
Makes us traduced and taxed of other nations
pith
And, indeed, it takes
From our achievements, though performed at height,
The pith and marrow of our attribute.
livery
...these men,
Carrying, I say, the stamp of one defect,
Being nature’s livery or fortune’s star,
His virtues else, be they as pure as grace,
As infinite as man may undergo,
Shall in the general censure take corruption
From that particular fault.
ponderous
O, answer me!
Let me not burst in ignorance, but tell
Why thy canonized bones, hearsèd in death,
Have burst their cerements; why the sepulcher,
Wherein we saw thee quietly interred,
Hath oped his ponderous and marble jaws
To cast thee up again.
enmity
Sleeping within my orchard,
My custom always of the afternoon,
Upon my secure hour thy uncle stole
With juice of cursèd hebona in a vial
And in the porches of my ears did pour
The leprous distilment, whose effect
Holds such an enmity with blood of man
That swift as quicksilver it courses through
The natural gates and alleys of the body
contrive
But, howsomever thou pursues this act,
Taint not thy mind, nor let thy soul contrive
Against thy mother aught.
pernicious
O most pernicious woman!
O villain, villain, smiling, damnèd villain!
arrant
There's never a villain dwelling in all Denmark
But he's an arrant knave.
knave
There's never a villain dwelling in all Denmark
But he's an arrant knave.
antic
Here, as before, never, so help you mercy,
How strange or odd some’er I bear myself
(As I perchance hereafter shall think meet
To put an antic disposition on)
That you, at such times seeing me, never shall,
With arms encumbered thus, or this headshake,
Or by pronouncing of some doubtful phrase,
As “Well, well, we know,” or “We could an if we would,”
Or “If we list to speak,” or “There be an if they might,”
Or such ambiguous giving-out, to note
That you know aught of me

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