"A Midsummer Night's Dream," Vocabulary from Act 3

Shakespeare's tale of spirits, sprites and enchanted love, "A Midsummer Night's Dream" is mystical and magical.(etext found here),

Learn these word lists for the play: Act 1, Act 2, Act 3, Act 4, Act 5

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. abide
    put up with something or somebody unpleasant
    There are things in this comedy of Pyramus and Thisby that will never please. First, Pyramus must draw a sword to kill himself; which the ladies cannot abide.
  2. loam
    a rich soil consisting of sand, clay and organic materials
    Some man or other must present Wall: and let him have some plaster, or some loam, or some rough-cast about him, to signify wall; and let him hold his fingers thus, and through that cranny shall Pyramus and Thisby whisper.
  3. enthrall
    hold spellbound
    So is mine eye enthralled to thy shape;
    And thy fair virtue's force perforce doth move me
    On the first view to say, to swear, I love thee.
  4. purge
    rid of impurities
    And I will purge thy mortal grossness so
    That thou shalt like an airy spirit go
  5. beseech
    ask for or request earnestly
    I cry your worship's mercy, heartily: I beseech your worship's name.
  6. commend
    present as worthy of regard, kindness, or confidence
    I pray you, commend me to Mistress Squash, your mother, and to Master Peascod, your father.
  7. kindred
    group of people related by blood or marriage
    Good Master Mustardseed, I know your patience well: that same cowardly, giant-like ox-beef hath devoured many a gentleman of your house: I promise you your kindred had made my eyes water ere now.
  8. distracted
    having the attention diverted especially because of anxiety
    I led them on in this distracted fear
  9. rebuke
    censure severely or angrily
    O, why rebuke you him that loves you so?
  10. confound
    mistake one thing for another
    Then fate o'er-rules, that, one man holding troth,
    A million fail, confounding oath on oath.
  11. preposterously
    so as to arouse or deserve laughter
    Then will two at once woo one;
    That must needs be sport alone;
    And those things do best please me
    That befal preposterously.
  12. derision
    the act of treating with contempt
    Why should you think that I should woo in scorn?
    Scorn and derision never come in tears
  13. disparage
    express a negative opinion of
    Disparage not the faith thou dost not know
  14. asunder
    into parts or pieces
    And will you rent our ancient love asunder,
    To join with men in scorning your poor friend?
  15. scorn
    look down on with disdain
    I am amazed at your passionate words.
    I scorn you not: it seems that you scorn me.
  16. compel
    force somebody to do something
    Thou canst compel no more than she entreat:
    Thy threats have no more strength than her weak prayers
  17. esteem
    an attitude of admiration
    And are you grown so high in his esteem;
    Because I am so dwarfish and so low?
  18. stealth
    avoiding detection by moving carefully
    I told him of your stealth unto this wood.
  19. hinder
    be an obstacle to
    Why, get you gone: who is't that hinders you?
  20. officious
    intrusive in a meddling or offensive manner
    You are too officious
    In her behalf that scorns your services.
  21. fray
    a noisy fight
    Your hands than mine are quicker for a fray,
    My legs are longer though, to run away.
  22. harbinger
    something indicating the approach of something or someone
    And yonder shines Aurora's harbinger
  23. recreant
    an abject coward
    Come, recreant; come, thou child;
    I'll whip thee with a rod
  24. defile
    spot, stain, or pollute
    he is defiled
    That draws a sword on thee.
  25. spite
    meanness or nastiness
    Come, thou gentle day!
    For if but once thou show me thy grey light,
    I'll find Demetrius and revenge this spite.

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