What are some examples of wordplay (puns) in The Shakespeare Stealer?
Initially, Widge does not understand the wordplay rallied between the players which exemplifies the wit of the Elizabethan age. Gradually though, as he becomes part of the company, Widge is adept as the other players at humorous banter and the use of puns.
A good example would be from page 163. Mr Heminges is instructing Widge to collect Nick from the ale-house as he is needed for the performance. Mr Heminges performs the following pun on the word "fetch"
by all accounts I was quite f-fetching. More so than N-Nick, certainly. But though Nick may not be fetching, he still must be f-fetched.
Widge is able to construct an equally witty riposte with a pun on the word "come"-
And though 'a be not comely, yet a' must come,
As puns were very heavily used by Shakespeare in his comic scenes, it is very appropriate that the players should make good use of the technique.