The Shakespeare Stealer

Section 1: Chapters 1-7

  1. adept: very skilled at a craft
  2. antagonist: a person who actively seeks trouble
  3. apothecary: a person who manufactures and sells medicine
  4. countenance: ones facial expression
  5. expedient: convenient but lacking quality
  6. infuse: to fill something
  7. unsavory: foul to the senses
Comprehension Questions
  1. Widge expected a royal and loving family but was adopted by a cold and unloving doctor. pg. 5
  2. Widge discovers that Dr. Bright’s sermons were sometimes copied. pg. 6
  3. Widge says that there were orphans who were unsound of body and mind who were still at the orphanage or who had died there. pg. 15
  4. Widge doesn’t confront the stable boy because he knows that he is the new boy, and new boys don’t have any rights. pg. 27
  5. Widge is surprised because his new master has a very mild appearance. pg. 29
  6. Widge is incredulous when he finds out London has a curfew because London is a symbol of freedom. pg. 38
  7. Widge needs to change his clothing in order to appear more like a Londoner and less like a country dweller. pg. 39
  8. Widge passes the time waiting for Hamlet to be performed by watching the traffic on the street. pg. 41
  9. The house Widge sees has a cross nailed to the door because it is a plague house. pg. 42
  10. Falconer responds to Widge by saying he was only protecting his master’s investment. pg. 45
  11. The words, totus mundus agit histrionem, were inscribed under Atlas’ feet, which translates to, “all the world’s a stage.” pg. 47
  12. Widge’s most pressing problem while copying the play is assigning names to each player. pg. 49
  13. Many people considered the world of theatre to be immoral, so women were forbidden to act on stage. pg. 49
  14. Widge became so enthralled in the play that he only cared about whether Hamlet avenged his father’s death. pg. 50

Section 2: Chapters 8-14

  1. curfew: a law that requires people to remain indoors during night
  2. daunting: appearing impossible to complete or achieve
  3. emphatic: expressing something with force
  4. furtive: hiding from something, usually from trouble
  5. innocuous: peaceful, not harmful
  6. melancholy: a feeling of uncaused sadness
  7. wince: to jump in anticipation of something painful
Comprehension Questions
  1. The thought of having to fend for himself in London, and the reward he was promised both made Widge reconsider running away. pg. 52
  2. Falconer knocks the gravedigger from the play into the drainage ditch. pg. 54
  3. Widge’s favorite parts of the play are the fencing fights. pg. 55
  4. Falconer and Widge lose their lodgings because Falconer killed one of the other lodgers in a duel. pg. 58
  5. Widge escapes from the playhouse when his chasers have to leave to put out a fire. pg. 62-63
  6. The fire at the theater is extinguished when the sky opens up and rains on it. pg. 64
  7. Widge is recognized when he runs into the second gravedigger from the play. pg. 67
  8. Widge says that he came to London to become a player. pg. 70
  9. The cannoneer and the boy named Nick were the only two members of the company opposed to taking Widge on. pg. 72
  10. Sander doesn’t mind Widge joining his room because he says it will give him someone to talk to and study his lines with. pg. 75
  11. Mr. Shakespeare had apprenticed as a glover. pg. 77
  12. Mr. Shakespeare plays the ghost of Hamlet’s father in the play. pg. 80
  13. Nick says that “widge” means “horse” where he comes from. pg. 86
  14. Mr. Shakespeare tells Sander to instruct Widge in laughing. pg. 106

Section 3: Chapters 15-20

  1. clamor: a loud noise from a crowd
  2. concoct: to devise a story or a plan
  3. cursory: hasty and lacking details
  4. formidable: forcing respect through power or strength
  5. shirk: to avoid a responsibility
  6. sullen: moody or bad tempered
  7. thwart: to prevent a plan from happening
Comprehension Questions
  1. Widge is irritated at having to help Sander because he has to set down his playbook. pg. 108
  2. The sleeves are not sewn onto the costumes so that they can be reused in other plays. pg. 109
  3. Sander thinks Nick is in no shape to be a part fo the play because he has a bit of a beard and his breath smells like beer. pg. 111
  4. Jack takes the play book from Widge because he doesn’t trust him. pg. 113
  5. Mr. Heminges suggests that he and Mr. Shakespeare trade jobs as he is going on stage. pg. 115
  6. Chriss Beeston thinks Will Kempe left the company to sell Mr. Shakespeare’s plays to other companies. pg. 117
  7. Widge’s training at the theatre company is different from that of his past in that he is treated as if he has some intellect. pg. 120
  8. Widge and Julian find that both of their mothers died young, and that their fathers were both criminals. pg. 129
  9. Widge believes he got all his lines out correctly, but can’t remember for sure. pg. 131
  10. Mr. Heminges wants to see Widge in the property room to discuss the trouble he had with Thomas. pg. 141
  11. The company got on the Queen’s bad side when they performed a play that showed a deposition of a ruler. pg. 156
  12. Julian’s Identity is discovered when her shirt is torn, revealing a cloth wound around her chest. pg. 159

Section 4: Chapters 21-27

  1. countenance: ones facial expression
  2. doublet: a padded jacket worn from the 1300s to the 1700s
  3. exasperate: to irritate or frustrate someone
  4. fortnight: a period of time lasting two weeks
  5. rapier: a thin, lightweight sword with a sharpened point
  6. succumb: to give in to pressure
  7. sumptuous: appearing expensive
Comprehension Questions
  1. Nick is angry because he didn’t know he was fencing with a girl for such a long time. pg. 161
  2. Nick fights the student when he jokes about Nick dueling with a girl. pg. 165
  3. The two students run after the tavern owner threatened to call for the constable. pg. 170
  4. The authorities felt that Nick had suffered enough, and took him to a hospital instead of prison. pg. 170
  5. Nick is offered the part of Ophelia because Sanders has to focus on Nick’s part, and Sam and James were not old or experienced enough. pg. 174
  6. Widge is shocked when he arrives at Whitehall because there is no stage. pg. 179
  7. Widge manages to survive because he says that he becomes Ophelia through some miraculous process. pg. 180
  8. Widge is transformed through playing Ophelia in that it makes actually want to be a player. pg. 188
  9. Widge discovers nick stealing a playbook from the Globe. pg. 191
  10. Nick escapes being caught by tipping Widge’s boat, launching him into the water. pg. 196-197
  11. The beggar doesn’t want to be seen with Widge and Mr. Armin because nobody gives money to beggars with well-dressed friends. pg. 200-201
  12. Widge fears what will become of him if Falconer wins the duel. pg. 205
  13. Simon Bass and Mr. Armin know eachother because they were both members of the Chamberlain’s men. pg. 209
  14. Julia goes to France because women are allowed to act on stage there. pg. 213