WORD LISTS

"The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark" by William Shakespeare, Act 4

April 12, 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
contend
KING: What, Gertrude? How does Hamlet?
QUEEN: Mad as the sea and wind when both contend
Which is the mightier.
providence
Alas, how shall this bloody deed be answered?
It will be laid to us, whose providence
Should have kept short, restrained, and out of haunt
This mad young man.
divulge
But so much was our love,
We would not understand what was most fit,
But, like the owner of a foul disease,
To keep it from divulging, let it feed
Even on the pith of life.
discord
My soul is full of discord and dismay.
convocation
Not where he eats, but where he is eaten. A certain convocation of politic worms are e’en at him. Your worm is your only emperor for diet.
conveyance
Tell him that by his license Fortinbras
Craves the conveyance of a promised march
Over his kingdom.
craven
Now whether it be
Bestial oblivion or some craven scruple
Of thinking too precisely on th’ event
(A thought which, quartered, hath but one part wisdom
And ever three parts coward), I do not know
Why yet I live to say “This thing’s to do,”
Sith I have cause, and will, and strength, and means
To do ’t.
scruple
Now whether it be
Bestial oblivion or some craven scruple
Of thinking too precisely on th’ event
(A thought which, quartered, hath but one part wisdom
And ever three parts coward), I do not know
Why yet I live to say “This thing’s to do,”
Sith I have cause, and will, and strength, and means
To do ’t.
exhort
Examples gross as earth exhort me:
Witness this army of such mass and charge
Led by a delicate and tender prince,
Whose spirit with divine ambition puffed
Makes mouths at the invisible event
importunate
She is importunate,
Indeed distract; her mood will needs be pitied.
conjecture
'Twere good she were spoken with, for she may strew
Dangerous conjectures in ill-breeding minds.
artless
So full of artless jealousy is guilt,
It spills itself in fearing to be spilt.
inter
When sorrows come, they come not single spies,
But in battalions: first, her father slain;
Next, your son gone, and he most violent author
Of his own just remove; the people muddied,
Thick, and unwholesome in their thoughts and whispers
For good Polonius’ death, and we have done but greenly
In hugger-mugger to inter him
arraign
Her brother is in secret come from France,
Feeds on his wonder, keeps himself in clouds,
And wants not buzzers to infect his ear
With pestilent speeches of his father’s death,
Wherein necessity, of matter beggared,
Will nothing stick our person to arraign
In ear and ear.
superfluous
O, my dear Gertrude, this,
Like to a murd’ring piece, in many places
Gives me superfluous death.
impetuous
The ocean, overpeering of his list,
Eats not the flats with more impiteous haste
Than young Laertes, in a riotous head,
O’erbears your officers.
riotous
The ocean, overpeering of his list,
Eats not the flats with more impiteous haste
Than young Laertes, in a riotous head,
O’erbears your officers.
rabble
The rabble call him “lord,”
And, as the world were now but to begin,
Antiquity forgot, custom not known,
The ratifiers and props of every word,
They cry “Choose we, Laertes shall be king!”
cuckold
That drop of blood that’s calm proclaims me bastard,
Cries “ cuckold” to my father, brands the harlot
Even here between the chaste unsmirchèd brow
Of my true mother.
incensed
Tell me, Laertes,
Why thou art thus incensed.
repast
To his good friends thus wide I’ll ope my arms
And, like the kind life-rend’ring pelican,
Repast them with my blood.
bier
They bore him barefaced on the bier,
Hey non nonny, nonny, hey nonny,
And in his grave rained many a tear.
Fare you well, my dove.
rue
There’s rue for you, and here’s some for me; we may call it herb of grace o’ Sundays.
flaxen
His beard was as white as snow,
All flaxen was his poll.
collateral
If by direct or by collateral hand
They find us touched, we will our kingdom give,
Our crown, our life, and all that we call ours,
To you in satisfaction
ostentation
His means of death, his obscure funeral
(No trophy, sword, nor hatchment o’er his bones,
No noble rite nor formal ostentation)
Cry to be heard, as ’twere from heaven to earth,
That I must call ’t in question.
exploit
If he be now returned,
As checking at his voyage, and that he means
No more to undertake it, I will work him
To an exploit, now ripe in my device,
Under the which he shall not choose but fall
abatement
That we would do
We should do when we would; for this “would” changes
And hath abatements and delays as many
As there are tongues, are hands, are accidents;
And then this “should” is like a spendthrift sigh,
That hurts by easing.
spendthrift
That we would do
We should do when we would; for this “would” changes
And hath abatements and delays as many
As there are tongues, are hands, are accidents;
And then this “should” is like a spendthrift sigh,
That hurts by easing.
remiss
He, being remiss,
Most generous, and free from all contriving,
Will not peruse the foils, so that with ease,
Or with a little shuffling, you may choose
A sword unbated, and in a pass of practice
Requite him for your father.
peruse
He, being remiss,
Most generous, and free from all contriving,
Will not peruse the foils, so that with ease,
Or with a little shuffling, you may choose
A sword unbated, and in a pass of practice
Requite him for your father.
requite
He, being remiss,
Most generous, and free from all contriving,
Will not peruse the foils, so that with ease,
Or with a little shuffling, you may choose
A sword unbated, and in a pass of practice
Requite him for your father.
mountebank
I bought an unction of a mountebank
So mortal that, but dip a knife in it,
Where it draws blood no cataplasm so rare,
Collected from all simples that have virtue
Under the moon, can save the thing from death
That is but scratched withal.
chalice
When in your motion you are hot and dry
(As make your bouts more violent to that end)
And that he calls for drink, I’ll have prepared him
A chalice for the nonce, whereon but sipping,
If he by chance escape your venomed stuck,
Our purpose may hold there.
endue
Her clothes spread wide,
And mermaid-like awhile they bore her up,
Which time she chanted snatches of old lauds,
As one incapable of her own distress
Or like a creature native and endued
Unto that element.

Create a new Word List