Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter Francisco and Barnardo, two sentinels


Who's there?


Nay, answer me. Stand and unfold yourself.
unfold (v.) 2 identify, disclose, reveal


Long live the King!






You come most carefully upon your hour.
carefully (adv.) considerately, attentively


'Tis now struck twelve. Get thee to bed, Francisco.


For this relief much thanks. 'Tis bitter cold,

And I am sick at heart.


Have you had quiet guard?


                         Not a mouse stirring.


Well, good night.

If you do meet Horatio and Marcellus,

The rivals of my watch, bid them make haste.
rival (n.) partner, associate, companion

Enter Horatio and Marcellus


I think I hear them. Stand ho! Who is there?


Friends to this ground.
ground (n.) 5 land, country
liegeman (n.) vassal, subject, follower


                         And liegemen to the Dane.


Give you good night.


                         O, farewell, honest soldier.

Who hath relieved you?


                         Barnardo hath my place.

Give you good night.



                         Holla, Barnardo!


                                                         Say –

What, is Horatio there?


                         A piece of him.


Welcome, Horatio. Welcome, good Marcellus.


What, has this thing appeared again tonight?


I have seen nothing.


Horatio says 'tis but our fantasy,
fantasy (n.) 1 imagining, delusion, hallucination

And will not let belief take hold of him

Touching this dreaded sight twice seen of us.

Therefore I have entreated him along

With us to watch the minutes of this night,

That, if again this apparition come,

He may approve our eyes and speak to it.
approve (v.) 1 prove, confirm, corroborate, substantiate


Tush, tush, 'twill not appear.


                         Sit down awhile,

And let us once again assail your ears,
assail (v.) 1 attack, assault, address

That are so fortified against our story,

What we have two nights seen.


                         Well, sit we down,

And let us hear Barnardo speak of this.


Last night of all,

When yond same star that's westward from the pole

Had made his course t' illume that part of heaven
course (n.) 1 course of action, way of proceeding See Topics: Frequency count
illume (v.) light up, illuminate, brighten

Where now it burns, Marcellus and myself,

The bell then beating one –
beat (v.) 2 strike

Enter the Ghost


Peace, break thee off. Look where it comes again.


In the same figure like the King that's dead.


Thou art a scholar. Speak to it, Horatio.


Looks 'a not like the King? Mark it, Horatio.
mark (v.) 1 note, pay attention [to], take notice [of] See Topics: Frequency count


Most like. It harrows me with fear and wonder.
harrow (v.) disturb, distress, vex
like (adj.) 1 same, similar, alike, equal See Topics: Frequency count


It would be spoke to.


                         Speak to it, Horatio.


What art thou that usurpest this time of night,
usurp (v.) 3 take wrongful possession of, misappropriate

Together with that fair and warlike form

In which the majesty of buried Denmark

Did sometimes march? By heaven I charge thee, speak.
sometimes (adv.) formerly, once, at one time, previously


It is offended.


                         See, it stalks away.


Stay. Speak, speak. I charge thee, speak.

Exit the Ghost


'Tis gone and will not answer.


How now, Horatio? You tremble and look pale.

Is not this something more than fantasy?

What think you on't?


Before my God, I might not this believe

Without the sensible and true avouch
avouch (n.) assurance, guarantee
sensible (adj.) 2 evident, perceptible by the senses, affecting the senses

Of mine own eyes.


                         Is it not like the King?


As thou art to thyself.

Such was the very armour he had on

When he the ambitious Norway combated.

So frowned he once when, in an angry parle,
parle, parley (n.) 1 negotiation, meeting [between enemies under a truce, to discuss terms] See Topics: Frequency count

He smote the sledded poleaxe on the ice.
Polack (n.) Poles, Polish people
poleaxe, sledded battle-axe made like a sledge-hammer
sledded (adj.) carried by sleds
smite (v.), past forms smote, smit 1 strike, hit (often, with great force)

'Tis strange.


Thus twice before, and jump at this dead hour,
jump (adv.) exactly, precisely

With martial stalk hath he gone by our watch.


In what particular thought to work I know not.
thought (n.) 5 train of thought
work (v.), past form wrought 5 act upon, continue with

But, in the gross and scope of mine opinion,
gross (n.) overall total, whole amount
scope (n.) 2 range, reach, extent

This bodes some strange eruption to our state.
bode (v.) 1 forebode, portend, predict, augur
eruption (n.) 1 disturbance, outbreak of calamity, turbulence
strange (adj.) 1 remarkable, startling, abnormal, unnatural


Good now, sit down, and tell me he that knows

Why this same strict and most observant watch

So nightly toils the subject of the land,
subject (n.) 1 subjects, people [of a state]
toil (v.) exhaust, tire out, fatigue

And why such daily cast of brazen cannon
brazen (adj.) 2 made of brass, very strong, powerful
cast (n.) 2 casting, founding

And foreign mart for implements of war,
mart (n.) 2 bargaining, buying and selling, trading

Why such impress of shipwrights, whose sore task
impress (n.) 1 conscription, enforced service
sore (adj.) 1 severe, harsh, heavy

Does not divide the Sunday from the week.

What might be toward that this sweaty haste
toward (adv.) impending, forthcoming, in preparation

Doth make the night joint-labourer with the day?

Who is't that can inform me?


                         That can I.

At least the whisper goes so. Our last King,

Whose image even but now appeared to us,

Was, as you know, by Fortinbras of Norway,

Thereto pricked on by a most emulate pride,
emulate (adj.) ambitious, full of jealous rivalry, emulous
prick on (v.) incite, urge on, spur on

Dared to the combat; in which our valiant Hamlet –
combat (n.) duel, trial by duel

For so this side of our known world esteemed him –

Did slay this Fortinbras; who, by a sealed compact
compact (n.) agreement, contract, covenant
sealed (adj.) certified, authenticated [through a wax seal]

Well ratified by law and heraldry,

Did forfeit, with his life, all these his lands

Which he stood seised of, to the conqueror;

Against the which a moiety competent
competent, computent (adj.) 1 equivalent, sufficient, adequate
moiety (n.) 1 share, portion, part

Was gaged by our King, which had returned
gage (v.) 1 pledge, contract, stake
return (v.) 3 pass, transfer

To the inheritance of Fortinbras,

Had he been vanquisher, as, by the same covenant
covenant (n.) contract, legal agreement, compact

And carriage of the article designed,
article (n.) 1 clause, term, provision
carriage (n.) 3 import, significance, purport
designed (adj.) prearranged, designated

His fell to Hamlet. Now, sir, young Fortinbras,

Of unimproved mettle hot and full,
mettle, mettell (n.) 1 spirit, temperament, disposition
unimproved (adj.) undisciplined, uncensored; or: not turned to use, not raised in quality

Hath in the skirts of Norway here and there
skirt (n.) 2 (plural) outlying parts, borders, outskirts

Sharked up a list of lawless resolutes
list (n.) 2 muster, troop, band, recruitment
resolute (n.) desperado, determined character
shark up (v.) [like a shark] gather together indiscriminately, collect hastily and uncritically

For food and diet to some enterprise
diet (n.) 1 board, daily need

That hath a stomach in't; which is no other,
stomach (n.) 7 element of courage, exercise of valour

As it doth well appear unto our state,
state (n.) 10 government, ruling body, administration

But to recover of us by strong hand

And terms compulsatory those foresaid lands
compulsatory, compulsative (adj.) involving compulsion, subject to force

So by his father lost. And this, I take it,

Is the main motive of our preparations,

The source of this our watch, and the chief head
head (n.) 9 source, origin, fountainhead

Of this posthaste and romage in the land.
posthaste, post-haste (n.) great expedition, speed of preparation
romage (n.) commotion, turmoil, bustle


I think it be no other but e'en so.

Well may it sort that this portentous figure
portentous (adj.) ominous, threatening, full of foreboding
sort (v.) 1 suit, be fitting, be appropriate

Comes armed through our watch so like the King

That was and is the question of these wars.
question (n.) 7 source [of strife], cause, issue


A mote it is to trouble the mind's eye.
mote (n.) speck of dust, tiny particle, trifle

In the most high and palmy state of Rome,
palmy (adj.) flourishing, triumphant

A little ere the mightiest Julius fell,

The graves stood tenantless and the sheeted dead
sheeted (adj.) shrouded, wrapped in a winding-sheet

Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets –

As stars with trains of fire and dews of blood,

Disasters in the sun; and the moist star
disaster (n.) 1 inauspicious sight, unfavourable appearance
moist star the Moon [because of its influence on the tides]

Upon whose influence Neptune's empire stands
stand (v.) 11 depend, remain dependent, continue

Was sick almost to Doomsday with eclipse.

And even the like precurse of feared events,
like (adj.) 1 same, similar, alike, equal See Topics: Frequency count
precurse (n.) forerunner, precursor, heralding

As harbingers preceding still the fates
harbinger (n.) forerunner, herald, precursor
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

And prologue to the omen coming on,
omen (n.) calamity, ominous event, disaster

Have heaven and earth together demonstrated
demonstrate (v.) manifest, show, display

Unto our climatures and countrymen.
climatures (n.) regions, locality, part of the world

Enter the Ghost

But soft, behold, lo where it comes again!

I'll cross it, though it blast me.
cross (v.) 4 cross the path of, intercept, encounter

He spreads his arms

Stay, illusion.

If thou hast any sound or use of voice,

Speak to me.

If there be any good thing to be done

That may to thee do ease and grace to me,
ease (n.) 1 comfort, relief, solace

Speak to me.

If thou art privy to thy country's fate,
privy 1 privately aware [of], secretly knowledgeable [about]

Which happily foreknowing may avoid,
foreknowing (n.) knowing in advance, foreknowledge
happily (adv.) 1 perhaps, by chance, maybe

O, speak!

Or if thou hast uphoarded in thy life
uphoard (v.) hoard, heap up, amass

Extorted treasure in the womb of earth,
extorted (adj.) ill-gotten, gained by evil means

For which, they say, you spirits oft walk in death,
oft (adv.) often See Topics: Frequency count

Speak of it.

The cock crows

                         Stay and speak. Stop it, Marcellus.


Shall I strike it with my partisan?
partisan (n.) weapon with a long handle and a broad head, sometimes with a projection at the side See Topics: Weapons


Do, if it will not stand.


                         'Tis here.


                                                         'Tis here.

Exit the Ghost
stand (v.) 3 stop, halt


'Tis gone.

We do it wrong, being so majestical,
majestical (adj.) 1 majestic, regal, kingly

To offer it the show of violence,

For it is as the air invulnerable,

And our vain blows malicious mockery.
malicious (adj.) 2 violent, hostile, wrathful


It was about to speak when the cock crew.


And then it started, like a guilty thing

Upon a fearful summons. I have heard

The cock, that is the trumpet to the morn,
morn (n.) morning, dawn See Topics: Frequency count
trumpet (n.) 1 trumpeter; herald, announcer See Topics: Stage directions

Doth with his lofty and shrill-sounding throat

Awake the god of day, and at his warning,

Whether in sea or fire, in earth or air,

Th' extravagant and erring spirit hies
erring (adj.) straying, wandering, drifting
extravagant (adj.) vagrant, straying, roaming
hie (v.) hasten, hurry, speed See Topics: Frequency count

To his confine. And of the truth herein
confine (n.) 4 prison, place of confinement

This present object made probation.
probation (n.) 1 proof, demonstration


It faded on the crowing of the cock.

Some say that ever 'gainst that season comes

Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated,

This bird of dawning singeth all night long.
dawning (n.) dawn, daybreak, early morning See Topics: Greetings

And then, they say, no spirit dares stir abroad;

The nights are wholesome; then no planets strike;
strike (v.), past form stroke 5 have an evil influence, do harm
wholesome (adj.) 6 good for the health, health-giving, salubrious

No fairy takes; nor witch hath power to charm.
charm (v.) 1 work magic [on], bewitch, enchant
take (v.) 7 bewitch, take possession of, take into one's power

So hallowed and so gracious is that time.
gracious (adj.) 2 holy, sanctified


So have I heard and do in part believe it.

But look, the morn in russet mantle clad
mantle (n.) 1 loose sleeveless cloak See Topics: Clothing
morn (n.) morning, dawn See Topics: Frequency count
russet (adj.) 2 reddish-brown [the colour of a rough cloth once worn by country people]

Walks o'er the dew of yon high eastward hill.

Break we our watch up. And by my advice

Let us impart what we have seen tonight
impart (v.) 1 tell, make known, communicate

Unto young Hamlet. For, upon my life,

This spirit, dumb to us, will speak to him.

Do you consent we shall acquaint him with it,

As needful in our loves, fitting our duty?


Let's do't, I pray. And I this morning know

Where we shall find him most conveniently.


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