WORD LISTS

"The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark" by William Shakespeare, Act 2

April 4, 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
wanton
But, sir, such wanton, wild and usual slips
As are companions noted and most known
To youth and liberty.
assay
Your bait of falsehood take this carp of truth;
And thus do we of wisdom and of reach,
With windlasses and with assays of bias,
By indirections find directions out.
purport
Lord Hamlet, with his doublet all unbraced,
No hat upon his head, his stockings fouled,
Ungartered, and down-gyvèd to his ankle,
Pale as his shirt, his knees knocking each other,
And with a look so piteous in purport
As if he had been loosèd out of hell
To speak of horrors—he comes before me.
profound
At last, a little shaking of mine arm,
And thrice his head thus waving up and down,
He raised a sigh so piteous and profound
As it did seem to shatter all his bulk
And end his being.
vouchsafe
I entreat you both
That, being of so young days brought up with him
And sith so neighbored to his youth and havior,
That you vouchsafe your rest here in our court
glean
...so by your companies
To draw him on to pleasures, and to gather
So much as from occasion you may glean,
Whether aught to us unknown afflicts him thus
That, opened, lies within our remedy.
liege
I assure my good liege,
I hold my duty as I hold my soul,
Both to my God and to my gracious king
rebuke
Whereat, grieved
That so his sickness, age, and impotence
Was falsely borne in hand, sends out arrests
On Fortinbras, which he, in brief, obeys,
Receives rebuke from Norway, and, in fine,
Makes vow before his uncle never more
To give th’ assay of arms against your Majesty.
expostulate
My liege, and madam, to expostulate
What majesty should be, what duty is,
Why day is day, night night, and time is time
Were nothing but to waste night, day, and time.
brevity
Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit,
And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,
I will be brief.
solicit
This in obedience hath my daughter shown me,
And more above, hath his solicitings,
As they fell out by time, by means, and place,
All given to mine ear.
fain
Hath there been such a time (I would fain know that)
That I have positively said “’Tis so,”
When it proved otherwise?
arras
Be you and I behind an arras then.
carrion
For if the sun breed maggots in a dead dog, being a good kissing carrion—Have you a daughter?
extremity
He is far gone. And truly, in my youth, I suffered much extremity for love, very near this.
satirical
Slanders, sir; for the satirical rogue says here that old men have gray beards, that their faces are wrinkled, their eyes purging thick amber and plum-tree gum, and that they have a plentiful lack of wit, together with most weak hams...
tedious
These tedious old fools.
promontory
I have of late, but wherefore I know not, lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of exercises, and, indeed, it goes so heavily with my disposition that this goodly frame, the Earth, seems to me a sterile promontory...
firmament
...this most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave o’erhanging firmament, this majestical roof, fretted with golden fire—why, it appeareth nothing to me but a foul and pestilent congregation of vapors.
pestilent
...this most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave o’erhanging firmament, this majestical roof, fretted with golden fire—why, it appeareth nothing to me but a foul and pestilent congregation of vapors.
paragon
What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and admirable; in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god: the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals—and yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?
quintessence
What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and admirable; in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god: the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals—and yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?
foil
The adventurous knight shall use his foil and target, the lover shall not sigh gratis...
gratis
The adventurous knight shall use his foil and target, the lover shall not sigh gratis...
aerie
But there is, sir, an aerie of children, little eyases, that cry out on the top of question and are most tyrannically clapped for ’t.
eyas
But there is, sir, an aerie of children, little eyases, that cry out on the top of question and are most tyrannically clapped for ’t.
rapier
These are now the fashion and so berattle the common stages (so they call them) that many wearing rapiers are afraid of goose quills and dare scarce come thither.
ducat
It is not very strange; for my uncle is King of Denmark, and those that would make mouths at him while my father lived give twenty, forty, fifty, a hundred ducats apiece for his picture in little.
appurtenance
Your hands, come then. Th’ appurtenance of welcome is fashion and ceremony.
indict
I remember one said there were no sallets in the lines to make the matter savory, nor no matter in the phrase that might indict the author of affection, but called it an honest method, [as wholesome as sweet and, by very much, more handsome than fine.]
coagulate
Roasted in wrath and fire,
And thus o’ersizèd with coagulate gore,
With eyes like carbuncles, the hellish Pyrrhus
Old grandsire Priam seeks.
reverend
For lo, his sword,
Which was declining on the milky head
Of reverend Priam, seemed i’ th’ air to stick.
rheum
Run barefoot up and down, threat’ning the flames
With bisson rheum, a clout upon that head
Where late the diadem stood, and for a robe,
About her lank and all o’erteemèd loins
A blanket, in the alarm of fear caught up—
diadem
Run barefoot up and down, threat’ning the flames
With bisson rheum, a clout upon that head
Where late the diadem stood, and for a robe,
About her lank and all o’erteemèd loins
A blanket, in the alarm of fear caught up—
epitaph
Do you hear, let them be well used, for they are the abstract and brief chronicles of the time. After your death you were better have a bad epitaph than their ill report while you live.
cleave
He would drown the stage with tears
And cleave the general ear with horrid speech,
Make mad the guilty and appall the free,
Confound the ignorant and amaze indeed
The very faculties of eyes and ears.
gall
For it cannot be
But I am pigeon-livered and lack gall
To make oppression bitter, or ere this
I should have fatted all the region kites
With this slave’s offal.
offal
For it cannot be
But I am pigeon-livered and lack gall
To make oppression bitter, or ere this
I should have fatted all the region kites
With this slave’s offal.
melancholy
The spirit that I have seen
May be a devil, and the devil hath power
T’ assume a pleasing shape; yea, and perhaps,
Out of my weakness and my melancholy,
As he is very potent with such spirits,
Abuses me to damn me.
conscience
I’ll have grounds
More relative than this. The play’s the thing
Wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the King.

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