Philological Examination Questions on Hamlet
Question: Explain: "The king doth wake to-night and takes his rouse,
keeps wassail, and the swaggering up-spring reels." I. iv.
Answer: Wake means feast, carouse, used now to mean a watch
over the dead.
Rouse means bumper, from Danish ruus, meaning a surfeit in drinking.
Keeps wassail perhaps contains the same idea of revelry, wassail being from the Anglo-Saxon waes hael, be of
Upspring was part of an old German dance. Hupfauf is
the German, I believe, - a wild sort of dance.
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How to cite this article:
Mertins, Emma. Shakespeare Examinations. Ed. William Taylor Thom, M. A. Boston: Ginn and Co., 1888. Shakespeare Online. 10 Aug. 2010. (date when you accessed the information) < http://www.shakespeare-online.com/plays/hamlet/examq/twenty.html >.
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