The Shakespeare Stealer

by Gary Blackwood

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What is the turning point of The Shakespeare Stealer?

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The turning point in this excellent story comes when Widge finally decides to place his lot with the Players and to oppose Falconer, in spite of what may happen to him for this switching of sides. Although the novel presents Widge gradually shifting his allegiance bit by bit as he becomes more and more enraptured by the Players and the stage, his loyalties become clear in Chapter 24 when he sees Nick with Falconer and understands that Falconer is now enlisting Nick's help to steal the copy of Hamlet. This is when he reveals how he knows Falconer to Sander. Note how he explains himself to Sander:

I didn't think of it as wrong at first. I thought ofit only as a ob given me by me master. That was before I kenned any of you. Don't you see, an I'd meant to carry it out, I had ample chance. Gog's bread, I had the book in me hands!

This represents the true turning point in the novel, and in Widge's life. He has finally found something worth living for and a home and family to call his own. This becomes immensely more valuable than anything else, and gives Widge the courage to be open and honest and also to oppose Falconer in his attempt to gain the text he so desperately seeks.

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