"Hamlet," Vocabulary from Act 2 30 words

As you read William Shakespeare's "Hamlet" (etext found here), learn these word lists: Act 1, Act 2, Act 3, Act 4, Act 5
  1. assay
    a quantitative or qualitative test of a substance (especially an ore or a drug) to determine its components; frequently used to test for the presence or concentration of infectious agents or antibodies etc.
    And thus do we of wisdom and of reach,
    With windlasses and with assays of bias,
    By indirections find directions out.
  2. purport
    have the often specious appearance of being, intending, or claiming
    And with a look so piteous in purport
    As if he had been loosed out of hell
    To speak of horrors
  3. fetter
    a shackle for the ankles or feet
    No, my good lord, but, as you did command,
    I did repel his fetters and denied
    His access to me.
  4. entreat
    ask for or request earnestly
    I entreat you both,
    That, being of so young days brought up with him,
    And sith so neighbour'd to his youth and havior,
    That you vouchsafe your rest here in our court
    Some little time: 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, open'd, lies within our remedy.
  5. vouchsafe
    grant in a condescending manner
    I entreat you both,
    That, being of so young days brought up with him,
    And sith so neighbour'd to his youth and havior,
    That you vouchsafe your rest here in our court
    Some little time: 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, open'd, lies within our remedy.
  6. gentry
    the most powerful members of a society
    If it will please you
    To show us so much gentry and good will
    As to expend your time with us awhile,
    For the supply and profit of our hope,
    Your visitation shall receive such thanks
    As fits a king's remembrance.
  7. beseech
    ask for or request earnestly
    Thanks, Guildenstern and gentle Rosencrantz:
    And I beseech you instantly to visit
    My too much changed son.
  8. liege
    a feudal lord entitled to allegiance and service
    I assure my good liege,
    I hold my duty, as I hold my soul.
  9. rebuke
    an act or expression of criticism and censure
    He 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 the assay of arms against your majesty.
  10. expostulate
    reason with (somebody) for the purpose of dissuasion
    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.
  11. brevity
    the attribute of being brief or fleeting
    Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit,
    And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,
    I will be brief.
  12. carrion
    the dead and rotting body of an animal; unfit for human food
    For if the sun breed maggots in a dead dog, being a
    god kissing carrion,
  13. contrive
    make or work out a plan for; devise
    I will leave him, and suddenly contrive the means of
    meeting between him and my daughter.
  14. tedious
    so lacking in interest as to cause mental weariness
    These tedious old fools!
  15. strumpet
    a woman adulterer
    O, most true; she is a strumpet.
  16. mirth
    great merriment
    I have of late--but wherefore I know not--lost all my mirth,
    forgone all custom of exercises.
  17. promontory
    a natural elevation (especially a rocky one that juts out into the sea)
    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.
  18. firmament
    the apparent surface of the imaginary sphere on which celestial bodies appear to be projected
    this most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave
    o'erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted
    with golden fire, why, it appears no other thing to
    me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours.
  19. paragon
    an ideal instance; a perfect embodiment of a concept
    What a piece of work is a man! how noble in reason!
    how infinite in faculty! 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!
  20. gratis
    without payment
    He that plays the king shall be welcome; his majesty
    shall have tribute of me; the adventurous knight
    shall use his foil and target; the lover shall not
    sigh gratis;
  21. sere
    (used especially of vegetation) having lost all moisture
    the adventurous knight
    shall use his foil and target; the lover shall not
    sigh gratis; the humourous man shall end his part
    in peace; the clown shall make those laugh whose
    lungs are tickled o' the sere;
  22. rapier
    a straight sword with a narrow blade and two edges
    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.
  23. ducat
    formerly a gold coin of various European countries
    It is not very strange; for mine uncle is king of
    Denmark, and those that would make mows at him while
    my father lived, give twenty, forty, fifty, an
    hundred ducats a-piece for his picture in little.
  24. appurtenance
    equipment consisting of miscellaneous articles needed for a particular operation or sport etc.
    the appurtenance of welcome is fashion
    and ceremony: let me comply with you in this garb,
    lest my extent to the players, which, I tell you,
    must show fairly outward, should more appear like
    entertainment than yours.
  25. indict
    accuse formally of a crime
    I remember, one said there
    were no sallets in the lines to make the matter
    savoury, nor no matter in the phrase that might
    indict the author of affectation; but called it an
    honest method, as wholesome as sweet, and by very
    much more handsome than fine.
  26. rheum
    a watery discharge from the mucous membranes (especially from the eyes or nose)
    Run barefoot up and down, threatening the flames
    With bisson rheum.
  27. diadem
    an ornamental jeweled headdress signifying sovereignty
    a clout upon that head
    Where late the diadem stood.
  28. visage
    the appearance conveyed by a person's face
    Is it not monstrous that this player here,
    But in a fiction, in a dream of passion,
    Could force his soul so to his own conceit
    That from her working all his visage wann'd.
  29. offal
    viscera and trimmings of a butchered animal often considered inedible by humans
    'Swounds, I should take it: for it cannot be
    But I am pigeon-liver'd and lack gall
    To make oppression bitter, or ere this
    I should have fatted all the region kites
    With this slave's offal: bloody, bawdy villain!
  30. rogue
    a deceitful and unreliable scoundrel
    A pestilence on him for a mad rogue!