What are some examples of wordplay (puns) in The Shakespeare Stealer?

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There are many examples of puns and wordplay throughout the novel The Shakespeare Stealer. Taking place in Shakespeare's theatre with many actors and script-writers, it makes sense that the characters are all adept at turning phrases. An example of a pun in the play can be found on page...

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There are many examples of puns and wordplay throughout the novel The Shakespeare Stealer. Taking place in Shakespeare's theatre with many actors and script-writers, it makes sense that the characters are all adept at turning phrases. An example of a pun in the play can be found on page 75:

"Does she beat you, then?" I asked softly as we descended the stairs. Sander laughed.

"Mistress Willington? She can hardly bear to beat the carpets!"

In this instance, the two are talking about different kinds of beatings—the initial question meaning is the mistress physically violent towards you, and Sander responding that she's so gentle she won't even clean the dust out of the carpets because it may hurt them. This is a pun on the word "beat" because beating the carpets is a form of cleaning them, and not being violent.

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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.

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