"Hamlet," Vocabulary from Act 5

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

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. heathen
    a person who does not acknowledge your god
    What, art a heathen?
  2. mason
    a craftsman who works with stone or brick
    What is he that builds stronger than either the
    mason, the shipwright, or the carpenter?
  3. indenture
    a concave cut into a surface or edge (as in a coastline)
    This fellow might be
    in's time a great buyer of land, with his statutes,
    his recognizances, his fines, his double vouchers,
    his recoveries: is this the fine of his fines, and
    the recovery of his recoveries, to have his fine
    pate full of fine dirt? will his vouchers vouch him
    no more of his purchases, and double ones too, than
    the length and breadth of a pair of indentures?
  4. pestilence
    a serious infection of rodents transmitted to humans
    A pestilence on him for a mad rogue! a' poured a
    flagon of Rhenish on my head once.
  5. flagon
    a large metal or pottery vessel with a handle and spout
    A pestilence on him for a mad rogue! a' poured a
    flagon of Rhenish on my head once.
  6. abhor
    find repugnant
    I knew him, Horatio: a fellow
    of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy: he hath
    borne me on his back a thousand times; and now, how
    abhorred in my imagination it is!
  7. gibe
    an aggressive remark directed at a person like a missile
    Where be your gibes now? your
    gambols? your songs? your flashes of merriment,
    that were wont to set the table on a roar?
  8. imperious
    having or showing arrogant superiority
    Imperious Caesar, dead and turn'd to clay,
    Might stop a hole to keep the wind away.
  9. betoken
    be a signal for or a symptom of
    This doth betoken
    The corse they follow did with desperate hand
    Fordo its own life.
  10. profane
    violate the sacred character of a place or language
    We should profane the service of the dead
    To sing a requiem and such rest to her
    As to peace-parted souls.
  11. requiem
    a song or hymn of mourning as a memorial to a dead person
    We should profane the service of the dead
    To sing a requiem and such rest to her
    As to peace-parted souls.
  12. churlish
    having a bad disposition; surly
    I tell thee, churlish priest,
    A ministering angel shall my sister be,
    When thou liest howling.
  13. asunder
    widely separated especially in space
    Pluck them asunder.
  14. yeoman
    a ceremonial officer in the bodyguard of the British monarch
    I once did hold it, as our statists do,
    A baseness to write fair and labour'd much
    How to forget that learning, but, sir, now
    It did me yeoman's service: wilt thou know
    The effect of what I wrote?
  15. tributary
    paying money, as for protection
    An earnest conjuration from the king,
    As England was his faithful tributary,
    As love between them like the palm might flourish
  16. amity
    a state of friendship and cordiality
    As peace should stiff her wheaten garland wear
    And stand a comma 'tween their amities,
    And many such-like 'As'es of great charge
  17. changeling
    a child secretly exchanged for another in infancy
    I had my father's signet in my purse,
    Which was the model of that Danish seal;
    Folded the writ up in form of the other,
    Subscribed it, gave't the impression, placed it safely,
    The changeling never known.
  18. insinuation
    the act of gaining acceptance by subtle blandishments
    Why, man, they did make love to this employment;
    They are not near my conscience; their defeat
    Does by their own insinuation grow:
  19. canker
    a pernicious and malign influence that is hard to get rid of
    And is't not to be damn'd,
    To let this canker of our nature come
    In further evil?
  20. perdition
    the place or state in which one suffers eternal punishment
    Sir, his definement suffers no perdition in you;
    though, I know, to divide him inventorially would
    dizzy the arithmetic of memory, and yet but yaw
    neither, in respect of his quick sail.
  21. umbrage
    a feeling of anger caused by being offended
    But, in the
    verity of extolment, I take him to be a soul of
    great article; and his infusion of such dearth and
    rareness, as, to make true diction of him, his
    semblable is his mirror; and who else would trace
    him, his umbrage, nothing more.
  22. infallible
    incapable of failure or error
    Your lordship speaks most infallibly of him.
  23. imputation
    a statement attributing something dishonest
    I mean, sir, for his weapon; but in the imputation
    laid on him by them, in his meed he's unfellowed.
  24. edify
    make understand
    I knew you must be edified by the margent ere you had done.
  25. augury
    an event indicating important things to come
    Not a whit, we defy augury: there's a special
    providence in the fall of a sparrow.
  26. foil
    a person or thing that serves to contrast with another
    I'll be your foil, Laertes: in mine ignorance
    Your skill shall, like a star i' the darkest night,
    Stick fiery off indeed
  27. palpable
    capable of being perceived
    A hit, a very palpable hit.
  28. carouse
    engage in boisterous, drunken merrymaking
    The queen carouses to thy fortune, Hamlet.
  29. felicity
    state of well-being characterized by contentment
    If thou didst ever hold me in thy heart
    Absent thee from felicity awhile,
    And in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain,
    To tell my story.
  30. havoc
    violent and needless disturbance
    This quarry cries on havoc. O proud death,
    What feast is toward in thine eternal cell,
    That thou so many princes at a shot
    So bloodily hast struck?

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