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The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark: Act 5

Shakespeare's famous tragedy tells the story of a Danish prince who must decide whether or not to avenge his father's death. Read the full text here.

Here are links to our lists for the play: Act 1, Act 2, Act 3, Act 4, Act 5
35 words 7,254 learners

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Full list of words from this list:

  1. heathen
    a person who does not acknowledge your god
    What, art a heathen? How dost thou understand the Scripture?
  2. gallows
    an instrument from which a person is executed by hanging
    I like thy wit well, in good faith. The gallows does well. But how does it well? It does well to those that do ill. Now, thou dost ill to say the gallows is built stronger than the church. Argal, the gallows may do well to thee.
  3. courtier
    an attendant for a monarch
    Or of a courtier, which could say “Good morrow, sweet lord! How dost thou, sweet lord?”
  4. quiddity
    an evasion of an argument by raising irrelevant objections
    Why may not that be the skull of a lawyer? Where be his quiddities now, his quillities, his cases, his tenures, and his tricks?
  5. recognizance
    a bond requiring someone before a court to perform some act
    Hum, this fellow might be in ’s time a great buyer of land, with his statutes, his recognizances, his fines, his double vouchers, his recoveries.
  6. indenture
    formal agreement as to terms of a debt
    Will his vouchers vouch him no more of his purchases, and double ones too, than the length and breadth of a pair of indentures?
  7. equivocation
    falsification by means of vague or ambiguous language
    How absolute the knave is! We must speak by the card, or equivocation will undo us.
  8. flagon
    a large metal or pottery vessel with a handle and spout
    He poured a flagon of Rhenish on my head once.
  9. abhor
    feel hatred or disgust toward
    He hath bore me on his back a thousand times, and now how abhorred in my imagination it is!
  10. 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?
  11. loam
    a rich soil consisting of sand, clay and organic materials
    Alexander died, Alexander was buried, Alexander returneth to dust; the dust is earth; of earth we make loam; and why of that loam whereto he was converted might they not stop a beer barrel?
  12. betoken
    be a signal for or a symptom of
    Who is this they follow?
    And with such maimèd rites? This doth betoken
    The corse they follow did with desp’rate hand
    Fordo its own life.
  13. 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.
  14. churlish
    rude and boorish
    I tell thee, churlish priest,
    A minist'ring angel shall my sister be,
    When thou liest howling.
  15. asunder
    into parts or pieces
    Pluck them asunder.
  16. 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,
    As peace should still her wheaten garland wear
    And stand a comma 'tween their amities
  17. amity
    a state of friendship and cordiality
    An earnest conjuration from the king,
    As England was his faithful tributary,
    As love between them like the palm might flourish,
    As peace should still her wheaten garland wear
    And stand a comma 'tween their amities
  18. insinuation
    the act of gaining acceptance by subtle blandishments
    Their defeat
    Does by their own insinuation grow.
  19. sultry
    characterized by oppressive heat and humidity
    But yet methinks it is very sultry and hot for my complexion.
  20. verity
    conformity to reality or actuality
    But, in the verity of extolment, I take him to be a soul of great article...
  21. extol
    praise, glorify, or honor
    But, in the verity of extolment, I take him to be a soul of great article...
  22. infallible
    incapable of failure or error
    Your lordship speaks most infallibly of him.
  23. meed
    a fitting reward
    I mean, sir, for his weapon. But in the imputation laid on him by them, in his meed he's unfellowed.
  24. poniard
    a dagger with a slender blade
    The King, sir, hath wagered with him six Barbary horses, against the which he has impawned, as I take it, six French rapiers and poniards, with their assigns, as girdle, hangers, and so.
  25. edify
    make understand
    I knew you must be edified by the margent ere you had done.
  26. germane
    relevant and appropriate
    The phrase would be more germane to the matter, if we could carry cannon by our sides.
  27. dote
    shower with love; show excessive affection for
    Thus has he (and many more of the same breed that I know the drossy age dotes on) only got the tune of the time, and, out of an habit of encounter, a kind of yeasty collection, which carries them through and through the most fanned and winnowed opinions; and do but blow them to their trial, the bubbles are out.
  28. winnow
    select desirable parts from a group or list
    Thus has he (and many more of the same breed that I know the drossy age dotes on) only got the tune of the time, and, out of an habit of encounter, a kind of yeasty collection, which carries them through and through the most fanned and winnowed opinions; and do but blow them to their trial, the bubbles are out.
  29. augury
    an event indicating important things to come
    Not a whit. We defy augury. There is a special 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.
  30. palpable
    capable of being perceived
    A hit, a very palpable hit.
  31. carouse
    engage in boisterous, drunken merrymaking
    The queen carouses to thy fortune, Hamlet.
  32. 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.
  33. 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?
  34. carnal
    of or relating to the body or flesh
    So shall you hear
    Of carnal, bloody, and unnatural acts,
    Of accidental judgments, casual slaughters,
    Of deaths put on by cunning and forced cause,
    And, in this upshot, purposes mistook
    Fall’n on th’ inventors’ heads.
  35. upshot
    a phenomenon that is caused by some previous phenomenon
    So shall you hear
    Of carnal, bloody, and unnatural acts,
    Of accidental judgments, casual slaughters,
    Of deaths put on by cunning and forced cause,
    And, in this upshot, purposes mistook
    Fall’n on th’ inventors’ heads.
Created on April 13, 2013 (updated August 2, 2021)

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