Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter Hamlet and Horatio


So much for this, sir. Now shall you see the other.

You do remember all the circumstance?


Remember it, my lord!


Sir, in my heart there was a kind of fighting

That would not let me sleep. Methought I lay
methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me See Topics: Frequency count

Worse than the mutines in the bilboes. Rashly,
bilboes (n.) shackles, fetters, manacles
mutine (n.) mutineer, rebel

And praised be rashness for it – let us know

Our indiscretion sometime serves us well
indiscretion (n.) lack of judgement, recklessness

When our deep plots do pall, and that should learn us
learn (v.) 1 teach, instruct [not a regional dialect usage as in modern English]
pall (v.) 1 fail, miscarry, abort

There's a divinity that shapes our ends,

Rough-hew them how we will –
rough-hew (v.) hew roughly, give rough shape to


                         That is most certain.


Up from my cabin,

My sea-gown scarfed about me, in the dark
scarf (v.) wrap round like a scarf or sash
sea-gown type of robe with a high collar, short sleeves, and mid-leg length See Topics: Clothing

Groped I to find out them, had my desire,

Fingered their packet, and in fine withdrew
fine, in in the end, finally, in conclusion See Topics: Discourse markers
finger (v.) steal, pinch, pilfer

To mine own room again, making so bold,

My fears forgetting manners, to unseal

Their grand commission; where I found, Horatio –

Ah, royal knavery! – an exact command,

Larded with many several sorts of reasons,
lard (v.) 1 strew, deck, cover
several (adj.) 1 separate, different, distinct See Topics: Frequency count

Importing Denmark's health, and England's too,
import (v.) 2 be of importance to, concern, matter to

With, ho! such bugs and goblins in my life,
bug (n.) 1 bogey, bugbear, imaginary terror
life (n.) 3 continued existence, survival See Topics: Swearing

That on the supervise, no leisure bated,
bate (v.) 4 omit, lose, leave out
leisure (n.) opportunity, moment, available time
supervise (n.) perusal, reading, sight

No, not to stay the grinding of the axe,

My head should be struck off.


                         Is't possible?


Here's the commission. Read it at more leisure.

But wilt thou hear now how I did proceed?


I beseech you.


Being thus be-netted round with villainies,
benet, be-net (v.) ensnare, enmesh, catch in a net

Or I could make a prologue to my brains
or (conj.) before
prologue (n.) preliminary statement

They had begun the play. I sat me down,

Devised a new commission, wrote it fair.
fair (adv.) 2 well, in a good hand, elegantly [like a clerk]

I once did hold it, as our statists do,
statist (n.) statesman, politician, man of affairs

A baseness to write fair, and laboured much
baseness (n.) 1 socially inferior trait, plebeian quality

How to forget that learning. But, sir, now

It did me yeoman's service. Wilt thou know
yeoman's service good and faithful service

Th' effect of what I wrote?
effect (n.) 4 drift, tenor, import


                         Ay, good my lord.


An earnest conjuration from the King,
conjuration (n.) 1 entreaty, injunction, solemn appeal

As England was his faithful tributary,

As love between them like the palm might flourish,
as (conj.) 5 so that

As peace should still her wheaten garland wear
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

And stand a comma 'tween their amities,
comma (n.) 2 pause, interval, interlude

And many such-like as's of great charge,
charge (n.) 9 weight, import, moment

That on the view and knowing of these contents,

Without debatement further, more or less,
debatement (n.) consideration, deliberation, discussion

He should those bearers put to sudden death,

Not shriving time allowed.
shriving (adj.) for confession and absolution


                         How was this sealed?


Why, even in that was heaven ordinant.
ordinant (adj.) providential, directing, in control

I had my father's signet in my purse,
signet (n.) seal [of authority], signet ring

Which was the model of that Danish seal,
model (n.) 1 replica, image, copy

Folded the writ up in the form of th' other,
writ (n.) 1 document, missive, letter

Subscribed it, gave't th' impression, placed it safely,
subscribe (v.) 2 sign, endorse, support

The changeling never known. Now, the next day
changeling (n./adj.) 3 substitution, changeover, switch

Was our sea-fight, and what to this was sequent
sequent (adj.) 1 following, ensuing, consequent

Thou knowest already.


So Guildenstern and Rosencrantz go to't.
to it, to't to the test, to death


Why, man, they did make love to this employment.

They are not near my conscience. Their defeat
defeat (n.) act of destruction, ruin

Does by their own insinuation grow.
insinuation (n.) 2 ingratiation, worming their way in

'Tis dangerous when the baser nature comes

Between the pass and fell incensed points
base (adj.) 2 low-born, lowly, plebeian, of lower rank See Topics: Frequency count
fell (adv.) fiercely, savagely, brutally
incensed (adj.) inflamed, angered, enraged
pass (n.) 1 [fencing] swordthrust, lunge
point (n.) 1 sword-point

Of mighty opposites.


                         Why, what a king is this!


Does it not, think thee, stand me now upon –
stand upon (v.) 5 be the duty of, be incumbent upon

He that hath killed my King and whored my mother,

Popped in between th' election and my hopes,

Thrown out his angle for my proper life,
angle (n.) 1 fishing rod, line, hook
proper (adj.) 2 very, own

And with such cozenage – is't not perfect conscience
cozenage (n.) cheating, trickery, deception
perfect (adj.) 4 clear, in accord with

To quit him with this arm? And is't not to be damned
damn (v.) condemn, be sinful
quit (v.) 5 pay back, repay, reward

To let this canker of our nature come
canker (n./adj.) 2 cancer, ulcer, blight, corruption
nature (n.) 3 human nature

In further evil?


It must be shortly known to him from England

What is the issue of the business there.
issue (n.) 2 outcome, result, consequence(s) See Topics: Frequency count


It will be short. The interim is mine;

And a man's life's no more than to say ‘one'.

But I am very sorry, good Horatio,

That to Laertes I forgot myself.

For by the image of my cause I see

The portraiture of his. I'll court his favours.
favour (n.) 4 friendship, good will, friendly regard

But, sure, the bravery of his grief did put me
bravery (n.) 3 display, manifestation, extravagance

Into a towering passion.


                         Peace, who comes here?

Enter Osrick


Your lordship is right welcome back to Denmark.


I humbly thank you, sir. (aside to Horatio) Dost

know this waterfly?


(aside to Hamlet)

No, my good lord.


(aside to Horatio)

Thy state is the more gracious,
gracious (adj.) 3 blessed, happy, joyful

for 'tis a vice to know him. He hath much land, and

fertile. Let a beast be lord of beasts, and his crib shall
crib (n.) 2 manger, food-box

stand at the king's mess. 'Tis a chough, but, as I say,
chough (n.) 2 chatterer, prater, prattler
mess (n.) 3 dining company, banqueting table

spacious in the possession of dirt.
dirt (n.) [contemptuous] land


Sweet lord, if your lordship were at leisure, I

should impart a thing to you from his majesty.
impart (v.) 1 tell, make known, communicate


I will receive it, sir, with all diligence of spirit.
diligence (n.) 1 attentiveness, assiduity, careful service

Put your bonnet to his right use. 'Tis for the head.
bonnet (n.) hat, cap See Topics: Clothing


I thank your lordship, it is very hot.


No, believe me, 'tis very cold. The wind is



It is indifferent cold, my lord, indeed.
indifferent (adv.) 1 moderately, tolerably, reasonably


But yet methinks it is very sultry and hot for my
methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me See Topics: Frequency count

complexion (n.) 2 constitution, physical make-up, outward appearance


Exceedingly, my lord. It is very sultry, as 'twere

– I cannot tell how. But, my lord, his majesty bade me

signify to you that 'a has laid a great wager on your head.
signify (v.) report, make known, declare

Sir, this is the matter –


I beseech you remember.

He invites Osrick to put on his hat


Nay, good my lord. For mine ease, in good faith.

Sir, here is newly come to court Laertes; believe me,

an absolute gentleman, full of most excellent differences,
absolute (adj.) 1 perfect, complete, incomparable
difference (n.) 6 distinction, fine quality

of very soft society and great showing. Indeed, to speak
showing (n.) 1 appearance, bearing
society (n.) 2 disposition, manners, social graces
soft (adj.) 1 sociable, pleasing, pleasant

feelingly of him, he is the card or calendar of gentry.
calendar (n.) 2 paradigm, yardstick, standard
card (n.) [compass-card, on which the 32 points of the compass are marked] model, accurate guide
gentry (n.) 1 courtesy, gentlemanliness, good breeding

For you shall find in him the continent of what part a
continent (n.) 1 embodiment, summation, digest
part (n.) 1 quality, attribute, gift, accomplishment [of mind or body]

gentleman would see.


Sir, his definement suffers no perdition in you,
definement (n.) description, definition, delineation
perdition (n.) 2 loss, diminution, decrease
suffer (v.) 3 undergo, sustain, endure

though, I know, to divide him inventorially would dizzy
divide (v.) 3 distinguish the qualities, list the attributes [of someone]
dizzy (v.) make dizzy, confuse, bewilder
inventorially (adv.) as in an inventory, one by one, in detail

th' arithmetic of memory, and yet but yaw neither in
arithmetic (n.) calculation, computation, reckoning
neither (adv.) for all that, nevertheless
yaw (v.) move unsteadily, wander about

respect of his quick sail. But, in the verity of extolment,
extolment (n.) praising, praise, extolling
verity (n.) 1 truth, truthfulness, veracity

I take him to be a soul of great article, and his infusion
article (n.) 5 importance, moment, significance
infusion (n.) 1 mixture of qualities, combination of attributes

of such dearth and rareness as, to make true diction of
dearth (n.) 2 costliness, high value
diction (n.) verbal description, account in words
rareness (n.) exceptional character, rarity

him, his semblable is his mirror, and who else would
semblable (n.) 1 likeness, fellow, match

trace him, his umbrage, nothing more.
trace (v.) 1 imitate, pursue, follow in one's footsteps
umbrage (n.) shadow, pale semblance


Your lordship speaks most infallibly of him.
infallibly (adv.) accurately, precisely, faithfully


The concernancy, sir? Why do we wrap the
concernancy (n.) import, relevance, purpose

gentleman in our more rawer breath?
raw (adj.) unrefined, unskilled, unpolished




Is't not possible to understand in another

tongue? You will to't, sir, really.


What imports the nomination of this
import (v.) 1 signify, mean, suggest
nomination (n.) 1 naming, mention, reference



Of Laertes?


(aside to Hamlet)

His purse is empty already.

All's golden words are spent.


Of him, sir.


I know you are not ignorant –


I would you did, sir. Yet, in faith, if you did, it

would not much approve me. Well, sir?
approve (v.) 4 commend, praise, show to be worthy


You are not ignorant of what excellence Laertes

is –


I dare not confess that, lest I should compare
compare (v.) vie, rival, compete

with him in excellence. But to know a man well were to

know himself.


I mean, sir, for his weapon. But in the imputation
imputation (n.) reputation, prestige, estimation

laid on him by them, in his meed he's unfellowed.
meed (n.) 2 merit, worth, excellence
unfellowed (adj.) unmatched, unequalled, unrivalled


What's his weapon?


Rapier and dagger.


That's two of his weapons. But, well!


The King, sir, hath wagered with him six Barbary
wage (v.) 2 stake, hazard

horses, against the which he has impawned, as I take it,
impawn (v.) 2 wager, pledge, stake

six French rapiers and poniards, with their assigns, as
as (conj.) 6 such as, for instance, to wit
assigns (n.) accessories, appurtenances, trappings

girdle, hangers, and so. Three of the carriages, in faith,
carriage (n.) 7 loop attached to a belt for holding a sword See Topics: Weapons

are very dear to fancy, very responsive to the hilts, most
dear (adj.) 5 pleasing, delightful, congenial
fancy (n.) 3 imagination, creativity, inventiveness
responsive (adj.) suited, corresponding, matched

delicate carriages, and of very liberal conceit.
conceit (n.) 6 design, ingenuity, conception
delicate (adj.) 2 finely wrought, skilfully made, ingenious
liberal (adj.) 6 fanciful, lavish


What call you the carriages?


(aside to Hamlet)

I knew you must be edified
edify (v.) 1 enlighten, instruct, inform

by the margent ere you had done.
margent (n.) 1 margin [of a page, where an explanatory note would be found]


The carriages, sir, are the hangers.


The phrase would be more germane to the
german, germane (adj.) 2 appropriate, connected, pertinent

matter it we could carry a cannon by our sides. I would

it might be ‘ hangers ’ till then. But on! Six Barbary

horses against six French swords, their assigns, and

three liberal-conceited carriages. That's the French bet
liberal-conceited (adj.) lavishly ingenious

against the Danish. Why is this all impawned, as you
impawn (v.) 2 wager, pledge, stake

call it?


The King, sir, hath laid, sir, that in a dozen
lay (v.) 12 wager, stake, bet

passes between yourself and him he shall not exceed you
pass (n.) 2 bout, exchange, round [in fencing]

three hits. He hath laid on twelve for nine; and it would

come to immediate trial if your lordship would vouchsafe

the answer.
answer (n.) 1 favourable reply, acceptance


How if I answer no?


I mean, my lord, the opposition of your person
opposition (n.) 1 presenting for combat, contesting, encounter

in trial.


Sir, I will walk here in the hall. If it please his

majesty, it is the breathing time of day with me. Let the

foils be brought, the gentleman willing, and the King

hold his purpose, I will win for him an I can, If not, I
hold (v.) 3 stand firm, continue, carry on
purpose (n.) 1 intention, aim, plan See Topics: Frequency count

will gain nothing but my shame and the odd hits.
odd (adj.) 5 occasional; or: extra


Shall I re-deliver you e'en so?
redeliver (v.) repeat, relate, report


To this effect, sir, after what flourish your
flourish (n.) 3 ornamentation, decoration, adornment

nature will.


I commend my duty to your lordship.
commend (v.) 6 declare, offer, direct


Yours, yours.

Exit Osrick

He does well to commend it himself. There are no

tongues else for's turn.
turn (n.) 1 need, requirement, purpose [especially in the phrase ‘serve one's turn’ = meet one's need]


This lapwing runs away with the shell on his



'A did comply, sir, with his dug, before 'a sucked
comply (v.) 2 observe the formalities, show polite conduct
dug (n.) nipple, teat, breast

it. Thus has he, and many more of the same bevy that I
bevy (n.) 1 company, circle, coterie

know the drossy age dotes on, only got the tune of the
dote on / upon (v.) 1 be infatuated with, idolize
drossy (adj.) worthless, frivolous, foolish
tune (n.) 3 fashionable speech, jargon

time and, out of an habit of encounter, a kind of yeasty
encounter (n.) 1 conversational interaction, discourse style
habit (n.) 4 routine, settled practice, regular behaviour
yeasty (adj.) frothy, superficial, trivial

collection, which carries them through and through the
carry (v.) 2 sustain, support, hold one's own
collection (n.) 2 accumulation [i.e. of words and phrases]

most fanned and winnowed opinions; and do but blow
fanned (adj.) well-sifted, tested, considered

them to their trial, the bubbles are out.
out (adv.) 6 at an end, finished

Enter a Lord
commend (v.) 1 convey greetings, present kind regards See Topics: Frequency count


My lord, his majesty commended him to you by

young Osrick, who brings back to him that you attend
bring (v.) 6 inform, report, tell

him in the hall. He sends to know if your pleasure hold
attend (v.) 1 await, wait for, expect See Topics: Frequency count

to play with Laertes, or that you will take longer time.


I am constant to my purposes. They follow the
purpose (n.) 1 intention, aim, plan See Topics: Frequency count

King's pleasure. If his fitness speaks, mine is ready,
fitness (n.) 2 inclination, readiness
speak (v.) 4 declare itself, be announced

now or whensoever, provided I be so able as now.


The King and Queen and all are coming down.


In happy time.
happy (adj.) 2 opportune, appropriate, propitious, favourable


The Queen desires you to use some gentle entertainment
entertainment (n.) 4 treatment, attitude, disposition
gentle (adj.) 2 courteous, friendly, kind

to Laertes before you fall to play.


She well instructs me.

Exit the Lord


You will lose this wager, my lord.


I do not think so. Since he went into France I

have been in continual practice. I shall win at the odds.

But thou wouldst not think how ill all's here about my
ill (adj.) 4 sick, indisposed, unwell

heart. But it is no matter.


Nay, good my lord –


It is but foolery. But it is such a kind of gain-giving
gaingiving (n.) misgiving, apprehension, qualm

as would perhaps trouble a woman.


If your mind dislike anything, obey it. I will

forestall their repair hither and say you are not fit.
repair (n.) 2 coming, arrival, approach


Not a whit. We defy augury. There is special
augury (n.) 1 omens, premonition, divining the future
defy (v.) 1 reject, despise, disdain, renounce

providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, 'tis not

to come. If it be not to come, it will be now. If it be not

now, yet it will come. The readiness is all. Since no man

knows of aught he leaves, what is't to leave betimes?
aught (n.) anything, [with negative word] nothing See Topics: Frequency count
betimes (adv.) 2 early in life

Let be.

Trumpets and drums

A table prepared, with flagons of wine on it

Enter officers with cushions, and other attendants with

foils, daggers, and gauntlets

Enter the King and Queen, Osrick, Laertes, and all

the state


Come, Hamlet, come, and take this hand from me.
state (n.) 3 persons of rank, nobility, court, council of state

He puts Laertes's hand into Hamlet's


Give me your pardon, sir. I have done you wrong.

But pardon't, as you are a gentleman.

This presence knows, and you must needs have heard,
presence (n.) 1 royal assembly, eminent company

How I am punished with a sore distraction.
distraction (n.) 2 madness, derangement, insanity
punish (v.) afflict, plague, torment
sore (adj.) 1 severe, harsh, heavy

What I have done

That might your nature, honour, and exception
exception (n.) 2 resentment, sense of grievance

Roughly awake, I here proclaim was madness.

Was't Hamlet wronged Laertes? Never Hamlet.

If Hamlet from himself be ta'en away,

And when he's not himself does wrong Laertes,

Then Hamlet does it not. Hamlet denies it.

Who does it then? His madness. If't be so,

Hamlet is of the faction that is wronged.
faction (n.) 1 party, group, set [of people]

His madness is poor Hamlet's enemy.

Sir, in this audience,

Let my disclaiming from a purposed evil
disclaiming (n.) repudiation, disowning, disavowal [of]

Free me so far in your most generous thoughts

That I have shot mine arrow o'er the house

And hurt my brother.


                         I am satisfied in nature,

Whose motive in this case should stir me most
motive (n.) 4 impulse, prompting, incitement

To my revenge. But in my terms of honour
term (n.) 3 state, condition, circumstance

I stand aloof, and will no reconcilement
reconcilement (n.) reconciliation, appeasement, peace
will (v.), past form would 1 desire, wish, want

Till by some elder masters of known honour

I have a voice and precedent of peace
voice (n.) 3 authoritative opinion, judgement

To keep my name ungored. But till that time
ungored (adj.) uninjured, unharmed

I do receive your offered love like love,

And will not wrong it.
embrace (v.) 1 welcome, joyfully accept


                         I embrace it freely,

And will this brothers' wager frankly play.
frankly (adv.) 3 with no ill-will, openly, without rancour

Give us the foils. Come on.
foil (n.) 1 sword, rapier See Topics: Weapons


                         Come, one for me.


I'll be your foil, Laertes. In mine ignorance
foil (n.) 3 setting, background which sets something off to advantage [as dull metal sets off a gem]

Your skill shall, like a star i'th' darkest night,

Stick fiery off indeed.
fiery (adv.) brightly, conspicuously, brilliantly
stick off (v.) shine out, stand out; or: stand firm


                         You mock me, sir.


No, by this hand.


Give them the foils, young Osrick. Cousin Hamlet,
foil (n.) 1 sword, rapier See Topics: Weapons

You know the wager?


                         Very well, my lord.

Your grace has laid the odds o'th' weaker side.


I do not fear it. I have seen you both.

But since he is bettered, we have therefore odds.
bettered (adj.) more skilful, held to be better


This is too heavy. Let me see another.


This likes me well. These foils have all a length?
foil (n.) 1 sword, rapier See Topics: Weapons
like (v.) 1 please, suit See Topics: Politeness


Ay, my good lord.

They prepare to play
stoup (n.) cup, flagon, jug, tankard


Set me the stoups of wine upon that table.

If Hamlet give the first or second hit,

Or quit in answer of the third exchange,
answer (n.) 5 [fencing] return hit
quit (v.) 7 draw level, be quits

Let all the battlements their ordnance fire.
ordnance, ordinance (n.) cannon, artillery

The King shall drink to Hamlet's better breath,
breath (n.) 5 vigour, spirit, energy

And in the cup an union shall he throw
union (n.) large pearl

Richer than that which four successive kings

In Denmark's crown have worn. Give me the cups,

And let the kettle to the trumpet speak,
kettle (n.) kettledrum

The trumpet to the cannoneer without,
cannoneer (n.) gunner, artilleryman

The cannons to the heavens, the heaven to earth,

‘ Now the King drinks to Hamlet.’ Come, begin.

(trumpets the while)

And you, the judges, bear a wary eye.


Come on, sir.


Come, my lord.

They play








A hit, a very palpable hit.

Drum, trumpets, and shot. Flourish. A piece goes off
palpable (adj.) evident, obvious, apparent
piece (n.) 7 cannon, piece of artillery, fire-arm


                         Well, again.


Stay, give me drink. Hamlet, this pearl is thine.

Here's to thy health. Give him the cup.


I'll play this bout first; set it by awhile.


They play

                         Another hit. What say you?


A touch, a touch. I do confess't.


Our son shall win.


                         He's fat and scant of breath.

Here, Hamlet, take my napkin. Rub thy brows.
brow (n.) 4 forehead [often plural, referring to the two prominences of the forehead]
napkin (n.) 1 handkerchief

The Queen carouses to thy fortune, Hamlet.


Good madam!


                         Gertrude, do not drink.


I will, my lord. I pray you, pardon me.

She drinks



It is the poisoned cup. It is too late.


I dare not drink yet, madam. By and by.


Come, let me wipe thy face.


(aside to the King)

My lord, I'll hit him now.


(aside to Laertes)

                         I do not think't.



And yet it is almost against my conscience.


Come for the third, Laertes. You do but dally.

I pray you, pass with your best violence.
pass (n.) 1 [fencing] swordthrust, lunge

I am afeard you make a wanton of me.
afeard (adj.) afraid, frightened, scared See Topics: Frequency count
wanton (n.) 6 spoilt child, pampered baby, weakling


Say you so? Come on.

They play


Nothing neither way.


Have at you now!

In scuffling, they change rapiers, and both are wounded

with the poisoned weapon


                         Part them. They are incensed.


Nay, come. Again!

The Queen falls


                         Look to the Queen there. Ho!


They bleed on both sides. How is it, my lord?


How is't, Laertes?


Why, as a woodcock to mine own springe, Osrick.
springe (n.) snare, trap
woodcock (n.) type of game bird, thought to be easily tricked or snared; simpleton

I am justly killed with mine own treachery.


How does the Queen?
swound (v.) faint, swoon


                         She swounds to see them bleed.


No, no, the drink, the drink! O my dear Hamlet!

The drink, the drink! I am poisoned.

She dies


O, villainy! Ho! Let the door be locked.

Treachery! Seek it out.


It is here, Hamlet. Hamlet, thou art slain.

No medicine in the world can do thee good.

In thee there is not half an hour's life.

The treacherous instrument is in thy hand,

Unbated and envenomed. The foul practice
envenomed (adj.) poisoned, infected with venom
practice (n.) 1 scheme, plot, stratagem, intrigue
unbated (adj.) 2 not blunted, without a button on the point

Hath turned itself on me. Lo, here I lie,

Never to rise again. Thy mother's poisoned.

I can no more. The King, the King's to blame.


The point envenomed too?
envenomed (adj.) poisoned, infected with venom

Then, venom, to thy work.

He wounds the King


Treason! Treason!


O, yet defend me, friends. I am but hurt.
but (adv.) 1 merely, only
hurt (adj.) wounded, injured


Here, thou incestuous, murderous, damned Dane,

Drink off this potion.

He forces the King to drink
union (n.) large pearl

                         Is thy union here?

Follow my mother.

The King dies


                         He is justly served.

It is a poison tempered by himself.
temper (v.) 1 blend, mix, concoct, compound

Exchange forgiveness with me, noble Hamlet.

Mine and my father's death come not upon thee,

Nor thine on me!

He dies
free (adj.) 5 innocent, guiltless


Heaven make thee free of it! I follow thee.

I am dead, Horatio. Wretched Queen, adieu!

You that look pale and tremble at this chance,
chance (n.) 1 event, occurrence, situation [especially, bad]

That are but mutes or audience to this act,
mute (n.) 1 actor with no words to say, silent spectator

Had I but time – as this fell sergeant, Death,
as (conj.) 2 because
fell (adj.) 2 mighty, terrible
sergeant (n.) 1 sheriff's officer, enforcer, arresting officer

Is strict in his arrest – O, I could tell you –

But let it be. Horatio, I am dead.

Thou livest. Report me and my cause aright
report (v.) give an account [of], describe in words

To the unsatisfied.
unsatisfied (adj.) 2 people unaware of the facts


                         Never believe it.

I am more an antique Roman than a Dane.
antique Roman ancient Roman [i.e. viewing suicide as an honourable option]

Here's yet some liquor left.


                         As th' art a man,

Give me the cup. Let go. By heaven, I'll ha't!

O God, Horatio, what a wounded name,
name (n.) 1 reputation, fame, renown
wounded (adj.) damaged, tainted, tarnished

Things standing thus unknown, shall I leave behind me!

If thou didst ever hold me in thy heart,

Absent thee from felicity awhile,
felicity (n.) happiness, bliss, joy

And in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain,

To tell my story.

A march afar off, and shout within

                         What warlike noise is this?


Young Fortinbras, with conquest come from Poland,

To the ambassadors of England gives

This warlike volley.


                         O, I die, Horatio!

The potent poison quite o'er-crows my spirit.
over-crow (v.) overpower, overwhelm, triumph over

I cannot live to hear the news from England.

But I do prophesy th' election lights
light (v.) 1 alight, descend, fall, come to rest

On Fortinbras. He has my dying voice.
voice (n.) 1 vote, official support See Topics: Frequency count

So tell him, with th' occurrents, more and less,
more and less 2 great and small
occurrent (n.) incident, event, occurrence

Which have solicited – the rest is silence.
solicit (v.) 1 urge, move, incite, prevail upon

He dies


Now cracks a noble heart. Good night, sweet Prince,

And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!
flight (n.) 1 company, host, multitude

(march within)

Why does the drum come hither?

Enter Fortinbras, with the Ambassadors and with his
colours (n.) 2 colour-ensigns, standard-bearers
train (n.) 1 retinue, following, entourage

train of drum, colours, and attendants


Where is this sight?


                         What is it you would see?

If aught of woe or wonder, cease your search.
aught (n.) anything, [with negative word] nothing See Topics: Frequency count
wonder (n.) 6 calamity, disaster, tragedy


This quarry cries on havoc. O proud Death,
cry on (v.) shout out, call out about
havoc (n.) [in fighting and hunting: calling for] total slaughter, general devastation
quarry (n.) [in hunting] heap of dead, pile of bodies

What feast is toward in thine eternal cell
toward (adv.) impending, forthcoming, in preparation

That thou so many princes at a shot

So bloodily hast struck?
dismal (adj.) 1 disastrous, calamitous, devastating


                         The sight is dismal,

And our affairs from England come too late.

The ears are senseless that should give us hearing,
senseless (adj.) 1 lacking human sensation, incapable of feeling

To tell him his commandment is fulfilled,

That Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead.

Where should we have our thanks?


                         Not from his mouth,

Had it th' ability of life to thank you.

He never gave commandment for their death.

But since, so jump upon this bloody question,
jump (adv.) exactly, precisely
question (n.) 1 argument, contention, dispute

You from the Polack wars, and you from England,
Polack (adj.) Polish, in Poland

Are here arrived, give order that these bodies

High on a stage be placed to the view.
stage (n.) platform, dais, stand

And let me speak to th' yet unknowing world

How these things came about. So shall you hear

Of carnal, bloody, and unnatural acts,

Of accidental judgements, casual slaughters,

Of deaths put on by cunning and forced cause,
forced (adj.) 3 unnatural, contrived, brought about by violence
put on (v.) 1 instigate, provoke, incite

And, in this upshot, purposes mistook
purpose (n.) 1 intention, aim, plan See Topics: Frequency count
upshot (n.) 2 result, conclusion, outcome

Fallen on th' inventors' heads. All this can I

Truly deliver.
deliver (v.) 1 report [to], communicate [to], tell, describe


                         Let us haste to hear it,

And call the noblest to the audience.

For me, with sorrow I embrace my fortune.

I have some rights of memory in this kingdom,
memory, of remembered, not forgotten

Which now to claim my vantage doth invite me.
vantage (n.) 2 advantageous position, place of vantage, superiority


Of that I shall have also cause to speak,

And from his mouth whose voice will draw on more.
draw on (v.) 3 draw in, attract [support]

But let this same be presently performed,
presently (adv.) 1 immediately, instantly, at once See Topics: Frequency count

Even while men's minds are wild, lest more mischance
wild (adj.) 3 agitated, disturbed, upset

On plots and errors happen.
on (prep.) 9 on top of


                         Let four captains

Bear Hamlet like a soldier to the stage.
stage (n.) platform, dais, stand

For he was likely, had he been put on,
put on (v.) 4 put to the test, set to work

To have proved most royal. And for his passage
passage (n.) 4 passing away, departure from life, death

The soldiers' music and the rites of war

Speak loudly for him.

Take up the bodies. Such a sight as this

Becomes the field, but here shows much amiss.
become (v.) 1 be fitting, befit, be appropriate to See Topics: Frequency count
field (n.) 1 field of battle, battleground, field of combat See Topics: Frequency count

Go, bid the soldiers shoot.
ordnance, ordinance (n.) cannon, artillery
peal (n.) discharge, volley, burst

Exeunt marching; after which a peal of

ordnance is shot off

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