Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter Hamlet and the Players


Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced

it to you, trippingly on the tongue. But if you mouth it

as many of your players do, I had as lief the town crier
lief, had as should like just as much See Topics: Frequency count

spoke my lines. Nor do not saw the air too much with

your hand, thus. But use all gently. For in the very torrent,
use (v.) 2 treat, deal with, manage

tempest, and, as I may say, whirlwind of your

passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance that
beget (v.), past form begot 4 obtain, develop, nurture
temperance (n.) 1 self-control, calm behaviour, moderation

may give it smoothness. O, it offends me to the soul to

hear a robustious periwig-pated fellow tear a passion to
passion (n.) 5 passionate outburst, emotional passage
periwig-pated (adj.) bewigged, wearing a wig
robustious (adj.) boisterous, noisy, unruly

tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of the groundlings,
groundlings (n.) audience standing in a theatre courtyard

who for the most part are capable of nothing but
capable of 1 appreciative of, able to take in

inexplicable dumb shows and noise. I would have such a

fellow whipped for o'erdoing Termagant. It out-Herods
overdo (v.) outdo, surpass

Herod. Pray you avoid it.


I warrant your honour.
warrant (v.) 1 assure, promise, guarantee, confirm See Topics: Frequency count


Be not too tame neither.But let your own discretion

be your tutor. Suit the action to the word, the
action (n.) 8 movement, demeanour, gesture

word to the action, with this special observance, that

you o'erstep not the modesty of nature. For anything so
modesty (n.) 1 moderation, restraint, discipline
nature (n.) 3 human nature

o'erdone is from the purpose of playing, whose end,
purpose (n.) 2 point at issue, matter in hand

both at the first and now, was and is to hold, as 'twere,

the mirror up to nature, to show virtue her own feature,
feature (n.) physical appearance, bodily shape, looks

scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the
scorn (n.) 3 folly, foolishness

time his form and pressure. Now this overdone, or come
come off (v.) 4 turn out, result
form (n.) 1 image, likeness, shape
pressure (n.) impression, stamp, image

tardy off, though it make the unskilful laugh, cannot
tardy (adv.) inadequately
unskilful (adj.) undiscerning, ignorant, uneducated

but make the judicious grieve; the censure of the which
censure (n.) 1 assessment, opinion, judgement, criticism

one must in your allowance o'erweigh a whole theatre
allowance (n.) 1 acknowledgement, admission, confirmation
overweigh (v.) outweigh, exceed, prevail over

of others. O, there be players that I have seen play, and

heard others praise, and that highly, not to speak it
speak (v.) 1 give an account of, report, describe

profanely, that, neither having th' accent of Christians
Christian (n.) ordinary person, normal human being

nor the gait of Christian, pagan, nor man, have so

strutted and bellowed that I have thought some of

Nature's journeymen had made men, and not made
journeyman (n.) 2 common workman, hireling

them well, they imitated humanity so abominably.


I hope we have reformed that indifferently
indifferently (adv.) 2 to some extent, fairly well

with us, sir.


O, reform it altogether! And let those that play

your clowns speak no more than is set down for them.

For there be of them that will themselves laugh to set on

some quantity of barren spectators to laugh too, though
barren (adj.) 1 unresponsive, dull, apathetic

in the meantime some necessary question of the play be

then to be considered. That's villainous, and shows a

most pitiful ambition in the fool that uses it. And then

you have some again that keeps one suit of jests, as a man

is known by one suit of apparel; and gentlemen quote
apparel (n.) clothes, clothing, dress See Topics: Frequency count
quote (v.) 2 note, jot, write

his jests down in their tables before they come to the
table (n.) 1 writing tablet, memo pad, notebook

play; as thus, ‘ Cannot you stay till I eat my porridge?’,

and ‘ You owe me a quarter's wages,’ and ‘ My coat

wants a cullison,’ and ‘ Your beer is sour,’ and blabbering
blabber (v.) babble, mumble
cullison (n.) badge, emblem [= cognizance, in heraldry]
want (v.) 1 lack, need, be without See Topics: Frequency count

with his lips, and thus keeping in his cinquepace of
cinquepace (n.) five-step capering dance

jests, when, God knows, the warm clown cannot make a

jest unless by chance, as the blind man catcheth a hare.

Masters, tell him of it.


We will, my lord.


Well, go make you ready.

Exeunt Players

Enter Polonius, Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern
piece (n.) 2 specimen, masterpiece

How now, my lord? Will the King hear this piece of



And the Queen too, and that presently.
presently (adv.) 2 after a short time, soon, before long


Bid the players make haste.

Exit Polonius

Will you two help to hasten them?


Ay, my lord.

Exeunt Rosencrantz and Guildenstern


What, ho, Horatio!

Enter Horatio


Here, sweet lord, at your service.


Horatio, thou art e'en as just a man
just (adj.) 5 honourable, loyal, faithful

As e'er my conversation coped withal.
conversation (n.) 2 social interaction, society, dealings
cope, cope with (v.) 1 encounter, face, have to do [with], come into contact [with]


O my dear lord –


                         Nay, do not think I flatter.

For what advancement may I hope from thee,
advancement (n.) preferment, elevation, progress

That no revenue hast but thy good spirits
spirit (n.) 2 (plural) sentiments, faculties, traits of character

To feed and clothe thee? Why should the poor be flattered?

No, let the candied tongue lick absurd pomp,
absurd (adj.) tasteless, insipid, incongruous
candied (adj.) 2 sugared, honeyed, flattering

And crook the pregnant hinges of the knee
pregnant (adj.) 1 well-disposed, ready, inclined, receptive

Where thrift may follow fawning. Dost thou hear?
thrift (n.) profit, advantage, gain

Since my dear soul was mistress of her choice

And could of men distinguish her election,
election (n.) choice, preference

Sh'hath sealed thee for herself. For thou hast been
seal (v.) 5 mark [as if by a seal], designate

As one, in suffering all, that suffers nothing,

A man that Fortune's buffets and rewards

Hast ta'en with equal thanks. And blest are those

Whose blood and judgement are so well commeddled
blood (n.) 1 passion, feeling, strong emotion [especially sexual]
commeddle, comeddle (v.) mix, blend, mingle together
judgement (n.) 3 reason, discernment, good sense

That they are not a pipe for Fortune's finger

To sound what stop she please. Give me that man
stop (n.) 5 note [produced by closing a finger-hole in a wind instrument]

That is not passion's slave, and I will wear him

In my heart's core, ay, in my heart of heart,

As I do thee. Something too much of this.
something (adv.) 1 somewhat, rather See Topics: Frequency count

There is a play tonight before the King.

One scene of it comes near the circumstance,

Which I have told thee, of my father's death.

I prithee, when thou seest that act afoot,

Even with the very comment of thy soul
comment (n.) 1 observation, consideration

Observe my uncle. If his occulted guilt
occulted (adj.) hidden, concealed

Do not itself unkennel in one speech,
unkennel (v.) reveal, bring to light, expose

It is a damned ghost that we have seen,

And my imaginations are as foul

As Vulcan's stithy. Give him heedful note.
stithy (n.) smithy, anvil, forge

For I mine eyes will rivet to his face,

And after we will both our judgements join
judgement (n.) 1 opinion, estimation, assessment

In censure of his seeming.
censure (n.) 1 assessment, opinion, judgement, criticism
seeming (n.) 3 demeanour, outward behaviour


                         Well, my lord.

If'a steal aught the whilst this play is playing,
steal (v.) hide furtively, conceal stealthily

And 'scape detecting, I will pay the theft.
aught (n.) anything, [with negative word] nothing See Topics: Frequency count
scape, 'scape (v.) escape, avoid See Topics: Frequency count


They are coming to the play. I must be idle. Get
idle (adj.) 2 mad, crazy, lunatic

you a place.

Danish march. Flourish

Trumpets and kettledrums

Enter the King and Queen, Polonius, Ophelia, Rosencrantz,

Guildenstern, and other lords attendant, with

the guard carrying torches


How fares our cousin Hamlet?
fare (v.) 1 get on, manage, do, cope See Topics: Frequency count


Excellent, i'faith; of the chameleon's dish. I eat

the air, promise-crammed. You cannot feed capons so.


I have nothing with this answer, Hamlet. These
have (v.) 1 understand, grasp, comprehend

words are not mine.


No, nor mine now. (to Polonius) My lord, you

played once i'th' university, you say?


That did I, my lord, and was accounted a

good actor.


What did you enact?


I did enact Julius Caesar. I was killed

i'th' Capitol. Brutus killed me.


It was a brute part of him to kill so capital a calf
calf (n.) fool, dolt, idiot

there. Be the players ready?


Ay, my lord. They stay upon your
stay on / upon (v.) wait for, await

patience (n.) 1 leave, permission, indulgence See Topics: Politeness


Come hither, my dear Hamlet, sit by me.


No, good mother. Here's metal more attractive.


(to the King)
mark (v.) 1 note, pay attention [to], take notice [of] See Topics: Frequency count

O ho! Do you mark that?


Lady, shall I lie in your lap?


No, my lord.


I mean, my head upon your lap?


Ay, my lord.


Do you think I meant country matters?
country matters sexual intercourse


I think nothing, my lord.


That's a fair thought – to lie between maids'



What is, my lord?




You are merry, my lord.
merry (adj.) 1 facetious, droll, jocular


Who, I?


Ay, my lord.


O God, your only jig-maker! What should a
jig-maker (n.) comic performer, jester
only (adj.) 1 outstanding, peerless, pre-eminent

man do but be merry? For look you how cheerfully my

mother looks, and my father died within's two hours.
's (det.) 2 contracted form of ‘this’


Nay, 'tis twice two months, my lord.


So long? Nay then, let the devil wear black, for
devil wear black, let the to hell with mourning!

I'll have a suit of sables. O heavens! Die two months
sable (n.) 2 rich fur [from the animal, sable], expensive garment

ago, and not forgotten yet? Then there's hope a great

man's memory may outlive his life half a year. But, by'r

Lady, 'a must build churches then, or else shall 'a suffer

not thinking on, with the hobby-horse, whose epitaph
think on (v.) 2 be remembered, be commemorated

is ‘ For O, for O, the hobby-horse is forgot!’

The trumpets sound

Dumb show follows: Enter a King and a Queen very

lovingly, the Queen embracing him, and he her. She

kneels, and makes show of protestation unto him. He

takes her up, and declines his head upon her neck. He

lies him down upon a bank of flowers. She, seeing him

asleep, leaves him. Anon comes in another man; takes

off his crown, kisses it, and pours poison in the sleeper's

ears, and leaves him. The Queen returns, finds the

King dead, makes passionate action. The poisoner,

with some three or four, comes in again, seem to condole

with her. The dead body is carried away. The

poisoner wooes the Queen with gifts. She seems harsh

awhile, but in the end accepts love

Exeunt dumb show


What means this, my lord?
anon (adv.) 1 soon, shortly, presently See Topics: Frequency count
condole (v.) 1 lament, grieve, express great sorrow
decline (v.) 1 incline, lean, bend
protestation (n.) solemn declaration, affirmation
show (n.) 1 appearance, exhibition, display


Marry, this is miching mallecho. It means
mallecho (n.) [unclear meaning] mischief, misdeed
miching (adj.) [unclear meaning] sneaking, skulking, lurking



Belike this show imports the argument of the
argument (n.) 2 story, subject, plot
belike (adv.) probably, presumably, perhaps, so it seems See Topics: Frequency count
import (v.) 5 represent, depict, indicate
show (n.) 6 dumb-show, miming


Enter the Fourth Player as Prologue


We shall know by this fellow. The players cannot

keep counsel. They'll tell all.
counsel (n.) 5 secrecy, confidence, privacy


Will 'a tell us what this show meant?


Ay, or any show that you will show him. Be not

you ashamed to show, he'll not shame to tell you what
shame (v.) be ashamed, be embarrassed

it means.


You are naught, you are naught. I'll mark the
mark (v.) 1 note, pay attention [to], take notice [of] See Topics: Frequency count
naught, nought (adj.) 2 improper, offensive, naughty


FOURTH PLAYER (as Prologue)

For us and for our tragedy,

Here stooping to your clemency,

We beg your hearing patiently.



Is this a prologue, or the posy of a ring?
posy (n.) short piece of poetry [often inscribed inside a ring]


'Tis brief, my lord.


As woman's love.

Enter two Players as King and Queen
cart (n.) chariot, carriage


Full thirty times hath Phoebus' cart gone round

Neptune's salt wash and Tellus' orbed ground,
orbed (adj.) rounded, orb-like, spherical

And thirty dozen moons with borrowed sheen
sheen (n.) brightness, shining, radiance

About the world have times twelve thirties been

Since love our hearts, and Hymen did our hands,

Unite commutual in most sacred bands.
band (n.) 1 bond, obligation, tie
commutual, comutual (adj.) mutual, joint, answering to each other


So many journeys may the sun and moon

Make us again count o'er ere love be done!

But woe is me, you are so sick of late,

So far from cheer and from your former state
cheer (n.) 6 cheerfulness, mirth, joy

That I distrust you. Yet, though I distrust,
distrust (n.) 2 fear for, be anxious about

Discomfort you, my lord, it nothing must.
discomfort (v.) 2 trouble, grieve, worry

For women fear too much, even as they love,

And women's fear and love hold quantity,
quantity (n.) 2 equal amount, same proportion

In neither aught, or in extremity.
aught (n.) anything, [with negative word] nothing See Topics: Frequency count
extremity (n.) 1 utmost degree, greatest amount

Now what my love is, proof hath made you know,
proof (n.) 2 experience, actual practice, tried knowledge

And as my love is sized, my fear is so.
size (v.) quantify, measure [for size]

Where love is great, the littlest doubts are fear.

Where little fears grow great, great love grows there.


Faith, I must leave thee, love, and shortly too.

My operant powers their functions leave to do.
leave (v.) 1 cease, stop, give up
operant (adj.) active, vital, potent, functioning
power (n.) 8 faculty, function, ability
powers (n.) faculties, abilities to act

And thou shalt live in this fair world behind,

Honoured, beloved; and haply one as kind
haply (adv.) perhaps, maybe, by chance, with luck See Topics: Frequency count

For husband shalt thou –


                         O, confound the rest!

Such love must needs be treason in my breast:

In second husband let me be accurst!

None wed the second but who killed the first.


wormwood (n.) 2 bitter substance, bitterness See Topics: Plants

That's wormwood.


The instances that second marriage move

Are base respects of thrift, but none of love.
base (adj.) 1 dishonourable, low, unworthy See Topics: Frequency count
respect (n.) 1 consideration, factor, circumstance
thrift (n.) profit, advantage, gain

A second time I kill my husband dead

When second husband kisses me in bed.


I do believe you think what now you speak,

But what we do determine oft we break.
oft (adv.) often See Topics: Frequency count

Purpose is but the slave to memory,
purpose (n.) 1 intention, aim, plan See Topics: Frequency count

Of violent birth, but poor validity,
validity (n.) 2 strength, robustness, stamina

Which now, like fruit unripe, sticks on the tree,

But fall unshaken when they mellow be.

Most necessary 'tis that we forget
necessary (adj.) 1 inevitable, unavoidable, certain

To pay ourselves what to ourselves is debt.

What to ourselves in passion we propose,
passion (n.) 1 powerful feeling, overpowering emotion [often opposed to ‘reason’]

The passion ending, doth the purpose lose.
purpose (n.) 1 intention, aim, plan See Topics: Frequency count

The violence of either grief or joy

Their own enactures with themselves destroy.
enacture (n.) performance, fulfilment, execution

Where joy most revels, grief doth most lament.

Grief joys, joy grieves, on slender accident.
accident (n.) 1 occurrence, event, happening
slender (adj.) slight, trifling, insignificant

This world is not for aye, nor 'tis not strange
aye (adv.) always, ever, for eternity

That even our loves should with our fortunes change.

For 'tis a question left us yet to prove,
prove (v.) 1 test, try out, make trial [of]

Whether love lead fortune, or else fortune love.

The great man down, you mark his favourite flies.
mark (v.) 1 note, pay attention [to], take notice [of] See Topics: Frequency count

The poor advanced makes friends of enemies.

And hitherto doth love on fortune tend,
hitherto (adv.) 2 to this extent
tend (v.) 1 attend, wait on, serve

For who not needs shall never lack a friend,

And who in want a hollow friend doth try
hollow (adj.) 1 empty, false, insincere
try (v.) 2 put to the test, test the goodness [of]
want (n.) 3 need, requirement, necessity

Directly seasons him his enemy.
directly (adv.) 1 immediately, at once
season (v.) 4 turn into, make

But, orderly to end where I begun,

Our wills and fates do so contrary run
contrary (adv.) 1 in opposite directions, contrarily

That our devices still are overthrown.
device (n.) 2 plan, scheme, intention
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

Our thoughts are ours, their ends none of our own.
end (n.) 2 outcome, result, issue

So think thou wilt no second husband wed,

But die thy thoughts when thy first lord is dead.


Nor earth to me give food, nor heaven light,

Sport and repose lock from me day and night,
sport (n.) 1 recreation, amusement, entertainment See Topics: Frequency count

To desperation turn my trust and hope,

An anchor's cheer in prison be my scope,
anchor (n.) anchorite, hermit, recluse
cheer (n.) 3 lifestyle, fare, standard of living
scope (n.) 1 goal, prospect, purpose, aim

Each opposite that blanks the face of joy
blank (v.) make pale, blanch, drain (colour)
opposite (n.) 2 opposing force, adversity

Meet what I would have well, and it destroy,

Both here and hence pursue me lasting strife,
hence (adv.) 2 in the next world

If, once a widow, ever I be wife!



If she should break it now!


'Tis deeply sworn. Sweet, leave me here awhile.

My spirits grow dull, and fain I would beguile
beguile (v.) 4 charm away, while away, pass pleasantly
fain (adv.) gladly, willingly See Topics: Frequency count

The tedious day with sleep.


                         Sleep rock thy brain,

And never come mischance between us twain!
mischance (n.) misfortune, calamity, mishap
twain (n.) two See Topics: Numbers

The Player-King sleeps. Exit the Player-Queen


Madam, how like you this play?


The lady doth protest too much, methinks.
methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me See Topics: Frequency count
protest (v.) 1 make protestation, avow, affirm, proclaim


O, but she'll keep her word.


Have you heard the argument? Is there no offence
argument (n.) 2 story, subject, plot



No, no, they do but jest, poison in jest. No
jest (v.) 1 make believe, act, play parts

offence i'th' world.


What do you call the play?


The Mousetrap. Marry, how? Tropically. This
tropically (adv.) figuratively, like a trope [a figure of speech]

play is the image of a murder done in Vienna. Gonzago
image (n.) 6 representation, depiction, portrayal

is the duke's name; his wife, Baptista. You shall see

anon. 'Tis a knavish piece of work. But what of that?
anon (adv.) 1 soon, shortly, presently See Topics: Frequency count
knavish (adj.) rascally, mischievous, roguish

Your majesty, and we that have free souls, it touches us
free (adj.) 5 innocent, guiltless

not. Let the galled jade wince. Our withers are unwrung.
galled (adj.) 1 sore, swollen, inflamed
jade (n.) 1 worn-out horse, hack, worthless nag
unwrung (adj.) not rubbed sore, not chafed
withers (n.) [of a horse] ridge between the shoulder-blades

Enter the Third Player, as Lucianus

This is one Lucianus, nephew to the King.


You are as good as a chorus, my lord.
chorus (n.) character in a play who speaks the prologue and comments on the course of events


I could interpret between you and your love, if
interpret (v.) provide a dialogue [as does a puppeteer on behalf of the puppets]

I could see the puppets dallying.
dally (v.) 3 flirt, be amorous, engage in love-play


You are keen, my lord, you are keen.
keen (adj.) 1 sharp, cutting, severe


It would cost you a groaning to take off mine

edge (n.) 1 ardour, keen desire


Still better, and worse.


So you must take your husbands. – Begin, murderer.

Pox, leave thy damnable faces and begin. Come;

the croaking raven doth bellow for revenge.

THIRD PLAYER (as Lucianus)

Thoughts black, hands apt, drugs fit, and time agreeing,

Confederate season, else no creature seeing,
confederate (adj.) acting as an ally, in league
season (n.) 2 opportunity, favourable moment

Thou mixture rank, of midnight weeds collected,
rank (adj.) 2 foul-smelling, stinking

With Hecat's ban thrice blasted, thrice infected,
ban (n.) curse, malediction
blast (v.) 1 blight, wither, destroy

Thy natural magic and dire property
dire (adj.) dangerous, dreadful, evil
magic (n.) special power
natural (adj.) 5 inherent, intrinsic

On wholesome life usurps immediately.
usurp on / upon take wrongful possession of, misappropriate
wholesome (adj.) 3 sound, firm, in good condition

He pours the poison in the King's ears
estate (n.) 2 high rank, standing, status


'A poisons him i'th' garden for his estate. His

name's Gonzago. The story is extant, and written in very
extant (n.) 1 in existence, living, existing

choice Italian. You shall see anon how the murderer
anon (adv.) 1 soon, shortly, presently See Topics: Frequency count

gets the love of Gonzago's wife.


The King rises.


What, frighted with false fire?
false (adj.) 3 sham, spurious, not genuine, artificial
false fire discharge of blank cartridges
fright (v.), past form frighted frighten, scare, terrify See Topics: Frequency count


How fares my lord?
fare (v.) 1 get on, manage, do, cope See Topics: Frequency count


Give o'er the play.


Give me some light. Away!


Lights, lights, lights!

Exeunt all but Hamlet and Horatio


Why, let the strucken deer go weep,

The hart ungalled play.
ungalled (adj.) uninjured, unharmed, unhurt

For some must watch, while some must sleep.
watch (v.) 1 stay awake, keep vigil

Thus runs the world away.
runs the world away, thus that's the way of the world

Would not this, sir, and a forest of feathers – if the rest

of my fortunes turn Turk with me – with two Provincial
Provincial (adj.) from Provins or Provence [France]
turn Turk change completely, become a renegade [as if in religion, from Christian to infidel]

roses on my razed shoes, get me a fellowship in a cry of
cry (n.) 1 company, pack [as of hounds]
fellowship (n.) partnership, membership, participation
razed (adj.) 1 cut, slashed, slit

players, sir?


Half a share.


A whole one, I.

For thou dost know, O Damon dear

This realm dismantled was
dismantle (v.) 2 deprive, strip, divest

Of Jove himself; and now reigns here

A very, very – peacock.
pajock (n.) [unclear meaning] savage, degenerate; or: peacock


You might have rhymed.


O good Horatio, I'll take the ghost's word for a

thousand pound. Didst perceive?


Very well, my lord.


Upon the talk of the poisoning?


I did very well note him.


Aha! Come, some music! Come, the recorders!

For if the King like not the comedy,

Why then, belike he likes it not, perdy.
belike (adv.) probably, presumably, perhaps, so it seems See Topics: Frequency count

Come, some music!

Enter Rosencrantz and Guildenstern
vouchsafe (v.) 1 allow, permit, grant See Topics: Politeness


Good my lord, vouchsafe me a word

with you.


Sir, a whole history.


The King, sir –


Ay, sir, what of him?


Is in his retirement marvellous
distempered (adj.) 2 vexed, troubled, ill-humoured
marvellous (adv.) very, extremely, exceedingly See Topics: Frequency count
retirement (n.) 2 withdrawal, returning [to one's rooms]



With drink, sir?


No, my lord, with choler.
choler (n.) anger, rage, wrath


Your wisdom should show itself more richer to

signify this to the doctor. For for me to put him to his
signify (v.) report, make known, declare

purgation would perhaps plunge him into more choler.
choler (n.) anger, rage, wrath
purgation (n.) 1 purging, cleansing, clearing away


Good my lord, put your discourse into

some frame, and start not so wildly from my affair.
frame (n.) 3 order, definite form, regular shape
start (v.) 3 jump away, swerve, turn aside


I am tame, sir. Pronounce.
pronounce (v.) 1 deliver, speak, declare


The Queen your mother in most great

affliction of spirit hath sent me to you.


You are welcome.


Nay, good my lord, this courtesy is not

of the right breed. If it shall please you to make me a
breed (n.) 3 sort, kind, type

wholesome answer, I will do your mother's commandment.
wholesome (adj.) 2 reasonable, sensible, rational

If not, your pardon and my return shall be the
pardon (n.) permission, consent, approval See Topics: Politeness

end of my business.


Sir, I cannot.


What, my lord?


Make you a wholesome answer. My wit's
wholesome (adj.) 2 reasonable, sensible, rational
wit (n.) 1 intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability See Topics: Frequency count

diseased. But, sir, such answer as I can make, you shall

command; or rather, as you say, my mother. Therefore
command (v.) 2 have at one's disposal, be entrusted with

no more, but to the matter. My mother, you say –
matter (n.) 1 subject-matter, content, substance


Then thus she says: your behaviour hath

struck her into amazement and admiration.
admiration (n.) 1 amazement, astonishment, wonder
amazement (n.) 3 overwhelming wonder


O wonderful son, that can so 'stonish a mother!
astonish, 'stonish (v.) 2 stun, dumbfound, strike dumb with dismay

But is there no sequel at the heels of this mother's

admiration? Impart.
impart (v.) 1 tell, make known, communicate


She desires to speak with you in her

closet ere you go to bed.
closet (n.) 1 private chamber, study, own room
ere (conj.) 1 before


We shall obey, were she ten times our mother.

Have you any further trade with us?
trade (n.) 2 business, dealings


My lord, you once did love me.


And do still, by these pickers and stealers.


Good my lord, what is your cause of distemper?
distemper (n.) 2 disaffection, ill humour, strange behaviour

You do surely bar the door upon your own

liberty if you deny your griefs to your friend.
deny (v.) 5 refuse to talk about
liberty (n.) 2 liberation, deliverance


Sir, I lack advancement.


How can that be, when you have the

voice of the King himself for your succession in
voice (n.) 1 vote, official support See Topics: Frequency count



Ay, sir, but ‘ while the grass grows ’ – the proverb

is something musty.
something (adv.) 1 somewhat, rather See Topics: Frequency count

Enter a Player with recorders
withdraw (v.) turn aside, stand apart

O, the recorders. Let me see one. – To withdraw with

you – why do you go about to recover the wind of me, as
wind, recover the [in hunting] get to the windward side

if you would drive me into a toil?
toil (n.) net, snare, trap


O my lord, if my duty be too bold, my

love is too unmannerly.


I do not well understand that. Will you play

upon this pipe?


My lord, I cannot.


I pray you.


Believe me, I cannot.


I do beseech you.


I know no touch of it, my lord.
touch (n.) 7 fingering, handling, skill in playing


It is as easy as lying. Govern these ventages with
ventage (n.) finger-hole [of an instrument]

your fingers and thumb; give it breath with your mouth;

and it will discourse most eloquent music. Look you,
discourse (v.) 3 sound out, give forth

these are the stops.
stop (n.) 4 means of closing a finger-hole in a wind instrument


But these cannot I command to any

utterance of harmony. I have not the skill.


Why, look you now, how unworthy a thing you

make of me! You would play upon me. You would seem

to know my stops. You would pluck out the heart of my

mystery. You would sound me from my lowest note to
mystery (n.) 4 secret matter, inexplicable essence
sound (v.) 1 sound out, question, examine

the top of my compass. And there is much music, excellent
compass (n.) 1 range, reach, limit, scope

voice, in this little organ. Yet cannot you make it
organ (n.) 3 musical instrument

speak. 'Sblood, do you think I am easier to be played

on than a pipe? Call me what instrument you will,

though you can fret me, you cannot play upon me.

Enter Polonius

God bless you, sir!


My lord, the Queen would speak with you,

and presently.
presently (adv.) 1 immediately, instantly, at once See Topics: Frequency count


Do you see yonder cloud that's almost in shape

of a camel?


By th' mass, and 'tis like a camel indeed.


Methinks it is like a weasel.
methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me See Topics: Frequency count


It is backed like a weasel.


Or like a whale.


Very like a whale.


Then I will come to my mother by and by.
by and by (adv.) 1 immediately, straightaway, directly

(aside) They fool me to the top of my bent. – I will
bent (n.) 3 degree, capacity, extent [to which a bow can be bent]

come by and by.


I will say so.


‘ By and by ’ is easily said.

Exit Polonius

                         Leave me, friends.

Exeunt all but Hamlet

'Tis now the very witching time of night,
witching (adj.) witchcraft-practising, spell-casting

When churchyards yawn, and hell itself breathes out
yawn (v.) open wide, gape

Contagion to this world. Now could I drink hot blood
contagion (n.) 1 contagious quality, infecting influence

And do such bitter business as the day

Would quake to look on. Soft, now to my mother.

O heart, lose not thy nature. Let not ever

The soul of Nero enter this firm bosom.

Let me be cruel, not unnatural.

I will speak daggers to her, but use none.

My tongue and soul in this be hypocrites.

How in my words somever she be shent,
howsomever, howsome'er, how ... some'er (adv.) however, howsoever, in whatever way [+ subordinate clause] See Topics: how and how
shent (v.) 1 [from obsolete verb ‘shend’] blamed, rebuked, reproached

To give them seals never, my soul, consent!
seal (n.) 1 authentication, confirmation, attestation


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