Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter the King, Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern


I like him not; nor stands it safe with us

To let his madness range. Therefore prepare you.
range (v.) 1 wander freely, roam, rove

I your commission will forthwith dispatch,
commission (n.) 1 warrant, authority [to act]
dispatch, despatch (v.) 1 deal with promptly, settle, get [something] done quickly

And he to England shall along with you.

The terms of our estate may not endure
estate (n.) 2 high rank, standing, status
term (n.) 3 state, condition, circumstance

Hazard so near us as doth hourly grow

Out of his brows.
brow (n.) 3 eyebrow
provide (v.) 1 get ready, equip [oneself]


                         We will ourselves provide.

Most holy and religious fear it is
fear (n.) 6 duty, solicitude, obligation
religious (adj.) 2 sacred, solemn, inviolate

To keep those many many bodies safe

That live and feed upon your majesty.


The single and peculiar life is bound
peculiar (adj.) particular, private, personal
single (adj.) 1 individual, particular

With all the strength and armour of the mind

To keep itself from noyance; but much more
noyance (n.) harm, damage, injury

That spirit upon whose weal depends and rests
weal 2 welfare, well-being, prosperity

The lives of many. The cess of majesty
cess (n.) 1 cessation, ending, decease

Dies not alone, but like a gulf doth draw
gulf (n.) 1 whirlpool

What's near it with it; or 'tis a massy wheel
massy (adj.) massive, heavy, colossal

Fixed on the summit of the highest mount,

To whose huge spokes ten thousand lesser things

Are mortised and adjoined; which when it falls,
mortise (v.) fit together, join tightly [like pieces of wood]

Each small annexment, petty consequence,
annexment (n.) appendage, adjunct, attachment

Attends the boisterous ruin. Never alone
attend (v.) 4 accompany, follow closely, go with
boisterous (adj.) 2 tumultuous, violent, tempestuous

Did the king sigh, but with a general groan.


Arm you, I pray you, to this speedy voyage.
arm (v.) 1 prepare, get ready

For we will fetters put about this fear,

Which now goes too free-footed.


                         We will haste us.

Exeunt Rosencrantz and Guildenstern

Enter Polonius
closet (n.) 1 private chamber, study, own room


My lord, he's going to his mother's closet.

Behind the arras I'll convey myself
arras (n.) tapestry hanging
convey (v.) 3 conceal, hide, secrete

To hear the process. I'll warrant she'll tax him home.
home (adv.) 1 fully, thoroughly, unsparingly
process (n.) 2 proceedings, dealings
tax (v.) 1 censure, blame, take to task, disparage
warrant (v.) 1 assure, promise, guarantee, confirm See Topics: Frequency count

And, as you said, and wisely was it said,

'Tis meet that some more audience than a mother,
meet (adj.) 1 fit, suitable, right, proper See Topics: Frequency count

Since nature makes them partial, should o'erhear
nature (n.) 1 natural feelings, natural affection

The speech, of vantage. Fare you well, my liege.
vantage, of / to the in addition, as well, besides

I'll call upon you ere you go to bed

And tell you what I know.


                         Thanks, dear my lord.

Exit Polonius

O, my offence is rank. It smells to heaven.
rank (adj.) 2 foul-smelling, stinking

It hath the primal eldest curse upon't,
eldest (adj.) oldest, longest
primal (adj.) primaeval, original, earliest

A brother's murder. Pray can I not,

Though inclination be as sharp as will.

My stronger guilt defeats my strong intent,
intent (n.) intention, purpose, aim See Topics: Frequency count

And like a man to double business bound

I stand in pause where I shall first begin,
pause, in hesitating, not proceeding, pausing

And both neglect. What if this cursed hand

Were thicker than itself with brother's blood,

Is there not rain enough in the sweet heavens

To wash it white as snow? Whereto serves mercy
serve (v.) 4 be of use, render service, be an advantage [to]

But to confront the visage of offence?
visage (n.) 2 outward appearance, aspect, air

And what's in prayer but this twofold force,

To be forestalled ere we come to fall
forestall (v.) 1 prevent, stop, intercept, waylay

Or pardoned being down? Then I'll look up.
look up (v.) be cheerful, take courage

My fault is past. But, O, what form of prayer

Can serve my turn? ‘ Forgive me my foul murder?’

That cannot be, since I am still possessed

Of those effects for which I did the murder,
effect (n.) 5 benefit, advantage [resulting from an action]

My crown, mine own ambition, and my Queen.

May one be pardoned and retain th' offence?

In the corrupted currents of this world
current (n.) 2 practice, course, way of behaviour

Offence's gilded hand may shove by justice;
gilded (adj.) 2 gold-bearing, supplied with money
shove by (v.) thrust aside, push aside

And oft 'tis seen the wicked prize itself
oft (adv.) often See Topics: Frequency count

Buys out the law. But 'tis not so above.
buy out (v.) 2 get rid of, cancel by making a payment

There is no shuffling. There the action lies
shuffling (n.) trickery, deceit, evasiveness

In his true nature, and we ourselves compelled,

Even to the teeth and forehead of our faults,
teeth and forehead of, to the in the very face of, confronting face-to-face

To give in evidence. What then? What rests?
give in (v.) provide, supply, furnish
rest (v.) 1 remain, stay, stand

Try what repentance can. What can it not?

Yet what can it when one cannot repent?

O, wretched state! O, bosom black as death!

O limed soul, that struggling to be free
limed (adj.) trapped, ensnared [as with birdlime]

Art more engaged! Help, angels! Make assay.
assay (n.) 1 effort, attempt
engaged (adj.) 1 entangled, involved, trapped

Bow, stubborn knees, and, heart with strings of steel,

Be soft as sinews of the new-born babe!

All may be well.

The King kneels. Enter Hamlet
pat (adv.) 1 neatly, opportunely, aptly


Now might I do it pat, now 'a is a-praying.

And now I'll do't. And so 'a goes to heaven.

And so am I revenged. That would be scanned.
scan (v.) 1 examine, carefully consider

A villain kills my father, and for that

I, his sole son, do this same villain send

To heaven.

Why, this is hire and salary, not revenge.
salary (n.) reward, fee, payment

'A took my father grossly, full of bread,
grossly (adv.) 5 in a state of excess, with great sins unabsolved

With all his crimes broad blown, as flush as May;
blown (adj.) 1 in full flower, in its bloom
broad (adv.) 1 completely, fully
crime (n.) 1 sin, offence, wrong-doing
flush (adj.) 1 lusty, vigorous, full of life

And how his audit stands, who knows save heaven?
audit (n.) account, reckoning [especially: in the face of God]

But in our circumstance and course of thought,
circumstance (n.) 4 condition, state, situation
course (n.) 2 habit, custom, practise, normal procedure

'Tis heavy with him. And am I then revenged,
heavy (adj.) 2 grave, serious, weighty

To take him in the purging of his soul,

When he is fit and seasoned for his passage?
passage (n.) 4 passing away, departure from life, death
season (v.) 5 prepare, make fit


Up, sword, and know thou a more horrid hent.
hent (n.) clutch, grasp

When he is drunk asleep, or in his rage,
drunk asleep in a drunken stupour, dead drunk

Or in th' incestuous pleasure of his bed,

At game, a-swearing, or about some act
game (n.) 4 gambling

That has no relish of salvation in't –
relish (n.) 1 trace, suggestion, hint

Then trip him, that his heels may kick at heaven,

And that his soul may be as damned and black

As hell, whereto it goes. My mother stays.
stay (v.) 1 wait (for), await

This physic but prolongs thy sickly days.
physic (n.) 1 medicine, healing, treatment See Topics: Frequency count
sickly (adj.) 2 of sickness, invalid




My words fly up, my thoughts remain below.

Words without thoughts never to heaven go.


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