"Hamlet," Vocabulary from Act 3 26 words

Possibly the greatest play ever written, William Shakespeare's "Hamlet" encompasses it all: family, revenge, the relationship between thought and action, and the essence of what it is to be a human being (etext found here).

Learn these word lists for the dramatic tragedy: Act 1, Act 2, Act 3, Act 4, Act 5
  1. turbulent
    characterized by unrest or disorder or insubordination
    Get from him why he puts on this confusion,
    Grating so harshly all his days of quiet
    With turbulent and dangerous lunacy?
  2. affront
    treat, mention, or speak to rudely
    We have closely sent for Hamlet hither,
    That he, as 'twere by accident, may here
    Affront Ophelia.
  3. espial
    the act of detecting something; catching sight of something
    Her father and myself, lawful espials,
    Will so bestow ourselves that, seeing, unseen,
    We may of their encounter frankly judge.
  4. pious
    having or showing or expressing reverence for a deity
    'Tis too much proved--that with devotion's visage
    And pious action we do sugar o'er
    The devil himself.
  5. calamity
    an event resulting in great loss and misfortune
    There's the respect
    That makes calamity of so long life.
  6. insolence
    an offensive disrespectful impudent act
    For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
    The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
    The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
    The insolence of office and the spurns
    That patient merit of the unworthy takes.
  7. spurn
    reject with contempt
    For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
    The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
    The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
    The insolence of office and the spurns
    That patient merit of the unworthy takes.
  8. quietus
    euphemisms for death (based on an analogy between lying in a bed and in a tomb)
    When he himself might his quietus make
    With a bare bodkin?
  9. bodkin
    a dagger with a slender blade
    When he himself might his quietus make
    With a bare bodkin?
  10. pith
    the choicest or most essential or most vital part of some idea or experience
    And thus the native hue of resolution
    Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
    And enterprises of great pith and moment
    With this regard their currents turn awry.
  11. awry
    away from the correct or expected course
    And thus the native hue of resolution
    Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
    And enterprises of great pith and moment
    With this regard their currents turn awry.
  12. orison
    reverent petition to a deity
    Nymph, in thy orisons
    Be all my sins remember'd.
  13. inoculate
    introduce an idea or attitude into the mind of
    You should not have believed me; for virtue cannot
    so inoculate our old stock but we shall relish of
    it: I loved you not.
  14. knave
    a deceitful and unreliable scoundrel
    We are arrant knaves,
    all; believe none of us.
  15. calumny
    an abusive attack on a person's character or good name
    If thou dost marry, I'll give thee this plague for
    thy dowry: be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as
    snow, thou shalt not escape calumny.
  16. melancholy
    a humor that was once believed to be secreted by the kidneys or spleen and to cause sadness and melancholy
    There's something in his soul,
    O'er which his melancholy sits on brood.
  17. temperance
    the trait of avoiding excesses
    Nor do not saw the air
    too much with your hand, thus, but use all gently;
    for in the very torrent, tempest, and, as I may say,
    the whirlwind of passion, you must acquire and beget
    a temperance that may give it smoothness.
  18. termagant
    a scolding nagging bad-tempered woman
    O, it
    offends me to the soul to hear a robustious
    periwig-pated fellow tear a passion to tatters, to
    very rags, to split the ears of the groundlings, who
    for the most part are capable of nothing but
    inexplicable dumbshows and noise: I would have such
    a fellow whipped for o'erdoing Termagant; it
    out-herods Herod: pray you, avoid it.
  19. lament
    express grief verbally
    The Poisoner, with some two or three Mutes, comes in again, seeming to lament with her.
  20. clemency
    leniency and compassion shown toward offenders by a person or agency charged with administering justice
    For us, and for our tragedy,
    Here stooping to your clemency,
    We beg your hearing patiently.
  21. withers
    the highest part of the back at the base of the neck of various animals especially draft animals
    'tis a knavish piece of work: but what o'
    that? your majesty and we that have free souls, it
    touches us not: let the galled jade wince, our
    withers are unwrung.
  22. provincial
    of or associated with a province
    Would not this, sir, and a forest of feathers--if
    the rest of my fortunes turn Turk with me--with two
    Provincial roses on my razed shoes, get me a
    fellowship in a cry of players, sir?
  23. gambol
    play boisterously
    It is not madness
    That I have utter'd: bring me to the test,
    And I the matter will re-word; which madness
    Would gambol from.
  24. unction
    semisolid preparation (usually containing a medicine) applied externally as a remedy or for soothing an irritation
    Mother, for love of grace,
    Lay not that mattering unction to your soul,
    That not your trespass, but my madness speaks:
  25. prate
    speak (about unimportant matters) rapidly and incessantly
    Indeed this counsellor
    Is now most still, most secret and most grave,
    Who was in life a foolish prating knave.
  26. perchance
    through chance, "To sleep, perchance to dream.."
    I will watch to-night;
    Perchance 'twill walk again.