The Threepenny Opera Essays

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What keeps mankind alive? Answer the question with reference to the actions of characters in The Threepenny Opera. In The Threepenny Opera, Bertolt Brecht, through the writing of the song “Second Threepenny Finale What Keeps Mankind Alive” in Scene Six, gives us the idea that “mankind is kept alive by bestial acts (page 55, line number 18). In my opinion, although the idea to associate human beings with beasts, or more specifically, human behaviour with “bestial acts” looks peculiar, some characters, in their pursuit of desires and wants, do reflect an inhuman nature, which makes them ‘beast-like’. In the play, we can see the constant, uncontrollable longing of “food” (page 55 number 9) of some characters. In my opinion, …show more content…

In my view, Mac is really, as what Polly and Lucy comment, a man who is not “worth” “[so] [many] commitments” (page 68). Besides sexual urges, money is another piece of ‘juicy meat’ that attracts the most number of characters and leads them to inhuman deeds. An obvious example is Jenny. Upon the bribe of Mrs. Peachum, she decides to betray Mac in spite of the companionship between them. Worse, she is not impressed by Mac’s belief that a woman with name beginning with a ‘P’ (instead of a ‘J’ as suggested by Jenny) will betray her, and goes on turning him in to Constable Smith. Finally, when Mr. Peachum refuses to give her the reward for turning Mac in, Jenny gets furious, blames the Peachums for “black[ing] [Mac’s] boots” (page 58) and tells them how bad she feels for having “[sold] the last sportsman left in London” (page 58). In my view, Jenny is such a hypocrite and money-fanatic that the example about her is itself, the best manifestation of what is suggested in the song as “however much you twist, whatever lies you tell…. Morals follow on” (page 55, lines 8 ~ 9). As money represents one’s living, it does not surprise readers greatly by telling them that government officers such as Tiger Brown and Constable Smith have committed bribery. In fact, what is really surprising to us is Brown’s yielding to the

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