Summary of the Beggar’s Opera

Summary of the Beggar’s Opera

John Gay
Opera of the Beggar
In the introduction, the author – Beggar – says that if poverty is a patent for poetry, then no one doubts that he is a poet. He is in the company of beggars and participates in the performances that this troupe gives weekly in one of the poorest quarters in London – St. Giles. The actor recalls that the Muses, unlike all other women, do not meet anyone by their dress and do not consider a flashy outfit a sign of the mind, and modest clothes are a sign of stupidity. The beggar says that originally his play was intended for the performance at the wedding of two excellent singers – James Chanter and Mall Ley. He introduced the comparisons found in the most famous operas – with a swallow, a moth, a bee, a ship, a flower,

and so on. He wrote an exciting scene in prison, refused the prologue and epilogue, so his play is an opera in all respects, and he is happy, that after several performances in the big hall in St. Giles she will finally be shown on the real stage. All the arias in it are performed on the melodies of popular street songs or ballads. Picham – the fence of stolen goods – sings an aria about the fact that in vain people condemn other people’s occupations: despite all the differences, they have much in common. Pichu argues that his craft is similar to that of a lawyer: both of them live by fraudsters and often work in double quality – they encourage criminals, then they give them to justice. The pirce Pichema Filch informs that at noon the trial of the Black Mall must take place. Picham will try to settle everything, but in the last resort, she can ask that the sentence be postponed for pregnancy – being an enterprising person, she secured this way in advance. But Tom Klyapa, who faces a gallows, Peachem is not going to save – Tom nevolov and too often comes across, it is more profitable to get for his issuance of forty pounds. As for Betty Hitryuga, Pechum will save her from exile in the colony – in England he will earn more from her. “On the death of women, you can not win anything –
except that this is your wife,” Picchom remarks. Filch performs an aria about the venality of women.
Filch goes to the prison of Newget to please his friends with good news, and Pichus ponders who should be sent to the gallows during the next court session. Mrs. Picham believes that in the guise of the condemned to death there is something attractive: “Let Venus put his belt on the ugly creature, And immediately from men, anyone will see her beauty.” The noose is just like that one’s belt, And the thief who is proud In the cart rushes to the scaffold, For women, more beautiful than a lord. ” Mrs. Picham asks the husband about Captain Macchit: the captain is so gay and amiable, on the big road there is no gentleman equal to him! According to Picham, McHitt revolves in a too good society: gambling houses and coffee shops ruin him, so he will never get rich. Mrs. Pichem laments: “Why should he drive a company with all sorts of lords and gentlemen? Let them rob themselves of each other.” Learning from his wife that Macchit takes care of their daughter and Polly is not indifferent to him, Picham begins to worry that his daughter would not marry, because then they will become dependent on the son-in-law. You can let the girl everything: flirting, an affair, but not marriage. Mrs. Picham advises her husband to be more affectionate with her daughter and not offend her: she likes to imitate noble ladies and, perhaps, allows the captain of liberty only for reasons of benefit. Mrs. Picham herself thinks that a married woman does not have to love only her husband: “With the ingot, the girl is similar: The number of guineas in it is unknown, Until they get the treasury out of him.” “The wife is guinea that comes with the stigma of the spouse in appeal: Takes and again gives Her any without salvation. ” And Polly warns that if she fools around and strives to get married, then she will not be happy.
Learning that Polly still married, parents are in anger. “Do you really think that the villain that my mother and I would have lived in peace and harmony for so long if we were married?” exclaims Peach. In response to Polly’s statement that she went out for McHitt not for convenience but for love, Mrs. Peach scolded her for her recklessness and ill-manner. The affair would be forgivable, but marriage is a disgrace, she believes. Picham wants to benefit from this marriage: if he sends Makkhit to the gallows, Polly will inherit his money. But Mrs. Picham warns her husband that the captain may have several more wives who will challenge Polly’s widow. Picham asks the daughter what means she expects to live. Polly replies that she intends, like all women, to live on the fruits of her husband’s labors. Mrs. Picham is amazed at her simplicity: the wife of the bandit, like the wife of a soldier, sees money from him no more often than his own. Pichu advises his daughter to do as noble ladies do: rewrite the property for themselves, and then become a widow. Parents demand that Polly informs on Makhita – this is the only way to earn their forgiveness. “Do your duty and send your husband to the gallows!” exclaims Mrs. Peach. Polly disagrees: “If a friend of a dove dies, Caught by a gunner, She sorrowing, groaning over the dove And falling on the stone, With him in death and in love together”. Polly tells McHitt that her parents want him dead. Machit must hide. When he’s safe, he’ll let Polly know. Before the separation, lovers, standing in different corners of the stage and keeping their eyes on each other, perform the duet, parodying the opera stamp of that time. sees from him no more money than his own. Pichu advises his daughter to do as noble ladies do: rewrite the property for themselves, and then become a widow. Parents demand that Polly informs on Makhita – this is the only way to earn their forgiveness. “Do your duty and send your husband to the gallows!” exclaims Mrs. Peach. Polly disagrees: “If a friend of a dove dies, Caught by a gunner, She sorrowing, groaning over the dove And falling on the stone, With him in death and in love together”. Polly tells McHitt that her parents want him dead. Machit must hide. When he’s safe, he’ll let Polly know. Before the separation, lovers, standing in different corners of the stage and keeping their eyes on each other, perform the duet, parodying the opera stamp of that time. sees from him no more money than his own. Pichu advises his daughter to do as noble ladies do: rewrite the property for themselves, and then become a widow. Parents demand that Polly informs on Makhita – this is the only way to earn their forgiveness. “Do your duty and send your husband to the gallows!” exclaims Mrs. Peach. Polly disagrees: “If a friend of a dove dies, Caught by a gunner, She sorrowing, groaning over the dove And falling on the stone, With him in death and in love together”. Polly tells McHitt that her parents want him dead. Machit must hide. When he’s safe, he’ll let Polly know. Before the separation, lovers, standing in different corners of the stage and keeping their eyes on each other, perform the duet, parodying the opera stamp of that time. Pichu advises his daughter to do as noble ladies do: rewrite the property for themselves, and then become a widow. Parents demand that Polly informs on Makhita – this is the only way to earn their forgiveness. “Do your duty and send your husband to the gallows!” exclaims Mrs. Peach. Polly disagrees: “If a friend of a dove dies, Caught by a gunner, She sorrowing, groaning over the dove And falling on the stone, With him in death and in love together”. Polly tells McHitt that her parents want him dead. Machit must hide. When he’s safe, he’ll let Polly know. Before the separation, lovers, standing in different corners of the stage and keeping their eyes on each other, perform the duet, parodying the opera stamp of that time. Pichu advises his daughter to do as noble ladies do: rewrite the property for themselves, and then become a widow. Parents demand that Polly informs on Makhita – this is the only way to earn their forgiveness. “Do your duty and send your husband to the gallows!” exclaims Mrs. Peach. Polly disagrees: “If a friend of a dove dies, Caught by a gunner, She sorrowing, groaning over the dove And falling on the stone, With him in death and in love together”. Polly tells McHitt that her parents want him dead. Machit must hide. When he’s safe, he’ll let Polly know. Before the separation, lovers, standing in different corners of the stage and keeping their eyes on each other, perform the duet, parodying the opera stamp of that time. Parents demand that Polly informs on Makhita – this is the only way to earn their forgiveness. “Do your duty and send your husband to the gallows!” exclaims Mrs. Peach. Polly disagrees: “If a friend of a dove dies, Caught by a gunner, She sorrowing, groaning over the dove And falling on the stone, With him in death and in love together”. Polly tells McHitt that her parents want him dead. Machit must hide. When he’s safe, he’ll let Polly know. Before the separation, lovers, standing in different corners of the stage and keeping their eyes on each other, perform the duet, parodying the opera stamp of that time. Parents demand that Polly informs on Makhita – this is the only way to earn their forgiveness. “Do your duty and send your husband to the gallows!” exclaims Mrs. Peach. Polly disagrees: “If a friend of a dove dies, Caught by a gunner, She sorrowing, groaning over the dove And falling on the stone, With him in death and in love together”. Polly tells McHitt that her parents want him dead. Machit must hide. When he’s safe, he’ll let Polly know. Before the separation, lovers, standing in different corners of the stage and keeping their eyes on each other, perform the duet, parodying the opera stamp of that time.
Thieves from the Macchit gang sit in a tavern near Nygheta, smoke tobacco and drink wine and brandy. Mat Kisten argues that the true robbers of mankind are misers, and thieves only save people from excess, because what is wrong in taking away from the neighbor what he does not know how to use? Appears Makhit. He says that he quarreled with Pichum, and asks friends to tell Pichyom that he threw the gang, and in a week or two they will reconcile with Pichum and everything will fall into place. And while Machit invites his old girlfriends-prostitutes to his place: he loves women very much and has never been known for consistency and loyalty. But prostitutes betray Makhita Jenny Kozni and Sookie Sopli hug him and give a signal to Pichum and the constables who break in and grab him. In Newget, Aokyt meets McHeath as an old acquaintance and offers him shackles to choose from: the easiest cost ten guineas, the heavier ones – cheaper, Machit laments: there are so many extortions in prison and they are so large that few can afford to safely get out or at least die, as befits a gentleman. When Makchit remains alone in the cell, Lokita Lucy’s daughter comes secretly to him, who reproaches him for infidelity: Macchit promised to marry her, and himself, according to rumors, married Polly. McHeath assures Lucy that she does not like Polly and did not want to marry her. Lucy goes to look for a priest so that he marries her with Macchyth. which reproaches him for infidelity: Macchit promised to marry her, and himself, according to rumors, married Polly. McHeath assures Lucy that she does not like Polly and did not want to marry her. Lucy goes to look for a priest so that he marries her with Macchyth. which reproaches him for infidelity: Macchit promised to marry her, and himself, according to rumors, married Polly. McHeath assures Lucy that she does not like Polly and did not want to marry her. Lucy goes to look for a priest so that he marries her with Macchyth.
Lokit and Pichum make calculations. They decide to divide the bribes for McHitt in equal parts. Peach mourns that the government is hesitating to pay and thereby puts them in a difficult situation: they have to pay their informants neatly. Each of them considers himself an honest man, and the other – dishonest, which almost leads to a quarrel, but they catch on time: after all, sending each other to the gallows, they will not gain anything.
Lucy comes to the cell to Makhit. She did not find a priest, but she promised to do her best to save her beloved. Polly appears. She is surprised that McHitt is so cold with his wife. In order not to lose Lucy’s help, Macchit renounces Polly, but Lucy does not believe him. Both women feel cheated and perform a duet on the motif of the Irish trot. Pierce breaks in, he pulls Polly away from McHitt and takes her away. Makhit tries to justify himself before Lucy. Lucy admits that it is easier for her to see him on the gallows than in the arms of a rival. She helps McHeath escape and wants to run with him, but he persuades her to stay and join him later. After learning about the escape of Makhit, Lokit immediately understands that it was not without Lucy. Lucy unlocks it. Lokit does not believe her daughter and asks if Mackhith paid her: if she went into a better deal with McHitt, than Lokit himself, he is ready to forgive her. Lucy complains that McHeath acted with her as the last scoundrel: took advantage of her help, and he himself slipped away to Polly, now Polly will loot the money from him, and then Picchus hangs him and cheats Lokita and Lucy. Lokit is indignant: Picham is determined to outwit him. Picham is his companion and friend, he acts according to the customs of the world and can refer to thousands of examples in justification of his attempt to cheat Lokita. So should not Lokita take advantage of the rights of a friend and repay him with the same coin? Lokit asks Lucy to send to him one of the people of Picham. Lucy sends him Filch. Filch complains about hard work: because the “stud stallion” was out of order, Filchu has to belly prostitutes, so they have the right to delay the sentence. If he does not find an easier way to make a living, he is unlikely to hold out until the next court session. Having learned from Filch that Makhit is in the stolen warehouse in the “Forged Bills”, Lokit goes there. They with Pichem check the clerical books and make calculations. The list includes “twenty-seven women’s pockets cut off with all the contents,” “a train of expensive brocade dresses,” etc. Their constant client, Mrs. Diana Happ, comes to them. She complains about difficult times: The act of closing the Mint, where insolvent debtors sheltered, dealt a big blow to her, and it became even more difficult to live with the Act on the abolition of arrest for petty debts: now a lady can borrow a beautiful skirt or a dress from her and not return, and Mrs. Happ has nowhere to look for a council. Two hours ago, Mrs. Happ ripped off her dress with Mrs. Gossip and left it in one shirt. She hopes that the lover of Mrs. Gossip – the generous Captain Makhit – will pay her debt. Hearing about Captain Macchit, Aokit and Pich promise Mrs. Happ to pay the debt for Mrs. Gossip, if she helps to see him: they have one captain to do with the captain.
Lucy sings an aria about an unjust fate that sends her anguish, while Polly she gives one pleasure. Lucy wants revenge and poison Polly. When Filch reports about the arrival of Polly, Lucy meets her kindly, asks for forgiveness for her ill-considered behavior and suggests in a sign of reconciliation to drink a glass. Polly refuses. She says she deserves pity, for the captain does not like her at all. Lucy comforts her: “Oh, Polly, Polly! My unfortunate wife is me, he loves you as if you were his mistress.” In the end they come to the conclusion that they are in the same position, for both were too in love. Polly, suspecting a dirty trick, refuses to drink wine, despite Lucy’s persuasions. Lokit and Pichu enter Makhita in shackles. Pichu chases Lucy and Lucy: “Get out of here, scoundrels! Now, wives do not have time to annoy their husbands. “Lucy and Polly perform a duet about their feelings for Makhit. The captains are being brought to court. Lucy and Polly hear cheerful music: these prisoners are having fun, whose affairs are postponed until the next session. The prisoners in shackles dance, and Polly and Lucy leaves to surrender to sadness. Michith on the death row drinks wine and sings songs. Peach Prodoh and Matt Kisten come to say goodbye to him. Michit asks friends to avenge him. Pichem and Lokit are unscrupulous rascals, and the last wish of Makhit is that Ben and Mat sent them to the gallows before Polly and Lucy also come to say goodbye to Makhit. When the jailer reports on the appearance of four more women, each of whom came with the child, Macchit exclaims: “What? Four more wives? This is too much! Hey, tell the sheriff’s people I’m ready. ” Lucy and Polly perform a duet about their feelings for Makhit. The captain is brought to court. Lucy and Polly hear cheerful music: the prisoners are amused, whose affairs are postponed until the next session. The prisoners in shackles dance, and Polly and Lucy leave to surrender. Makhit on a death row drinks wine and sings songs. Ben Proidoh and Matt Kisten come to say goodbye to him. Makhit asks friends to avenge him. Picham and Lokit are unscrupulous rascals, and the last wish of Makhit is that Ben and Matt send them to the gallows before they themselves fall into it. Polly and Lucy also come to say goodbye to McHeat. When the jailer reports on the appearance of four more women, each of whom came with the child, Macchit exclaims: “What? Four more wives? That’s too much! Hey, tell the sheriff’s people that I’m ready.” Lucy and Polly perform a duet about their feelings for Makhit. The captain is brought to court. Lucy and Polly hear cheerful music: the prisoners are amused, whose affairs are postponed until the next session. The prisoners in shackles dance, and Polly and Lucy leave to surrender. Makhit on a death row drinks wine and sings songs. Ben Proidoh and Matt Kisten come to say goodbye to him. Makhit asks friends to avenge him. Picham and Lokit are unscrupulous rascals, and the last wish of Makhit is that Ben and Matt send them to the gallows before they themselves fall into it. Polly and Lucy also come to say goodbye to McHeat. When the jailer reports on the appearance of four more women, each of whom came with the child, Macchit exclaims: “What? Four more wives? That’s too much! Hey, tell the sheriff’s people that I’m ready.” The captain is brought to court. Lucy and Polly hear cheerful music: the prisoners are amused, whose affairs are postponed until the next session. The prisoners in shackles dance, and Polly and Lucy leave to surrender. Makhit on a death row drinks wine and sings songs. Ben Proidoh and Matt Kisten come to say goodbye to him. Makhit asks friends to avenge him. Picham and Lokit are unscrupulous rascals, and the last wish of Makhit is that Ben and Matt send them to the gallows before they themselves fall into it. Polly and Lucy also come to say goodbye to McHeat. When the jailer reports on the appearance of four more women, each of whom came with the child, Macchit exclaims: “What? Four more wives? That’s too much! Hey, tell the sheriff’s people that I’m ready.” The captain is brought to court. Lucy and Polly hear cheerful music: the prisoners are amused, whose affairs are postponed until the next session. The prisoners in shackles dance, and Polly and Lucy leave to surrender. Makhit on a death row drinks wine and sings songs. Ben Proidoh and Matt Kisten come to say goodbye to him. Makhit asks friends to avenge him. Picham and Lokit are unscrupulous rascals, and the last wish of Makhit is that Ben and Matt send them to the gallows before they themselves fall into it. Polly and Lucy also come to say goodbye to McHeat. When the jailer reports on the appearance of four more women, each of whom came with the child, Macchit exclaims: “What? Four more wives? That’s too much! Hey, tell the sheriff’s people that I’m ready.” The prisoners in shackles dance, and Polly and Lucy leave to surrender. Makhit on a death row drinks wine and sings songs. Ben Proidoh and Matt Kisten come to say goodbye to him. Makhit asks friends to avenge him. Picham and Lokit are unscrupulous rascals, and the last wish of Makhit is that Ben and Matt send them to the gallows before they themselves fall into it. Polly and Lucy also come to say goodbye to McHeat. When the jailer reports on the appearance of four more women, each of whom came with the child, Macchit exclaims: “What? Four more wives? That’s too much! Hey, tell the sheriff’s people that I’m ready.” The prisoners in shackles dance, and Polly and Lucy leave to surrender. Makhit on a death row drinks wine and sings songs. Ben Proidoh and Matt Kisten come to say goodbye to him. Makhit asks friends to avenge him. Picham and Lokit are unscrupulous rascals, and the last wish of Makhit is that Ben and Matt send them to the gallows before they themselves fall into it. Polly and Lucy also come to say goodbye to McHeat. When the jailer reports on the appearance of four more women, each of whom came with the child, Macchit exclaims: “What? Four more wives? That’s too much! Hey, tell the sheriff’s people that I’m ready.” and McHeath’s last wish is for Ben and Matt to send them to the gallows before they themselves fall into it. Polly and Lucy also come to say goodbye to McHeat. When the jailer reports on the appearance of four more women, each of whom came with the child, Macchit exclaims: “What? Four more wives? That’s too much! Hey, tell the sheriff’s people that I’m ready.” and McHeath’s last wish is for Ben and Matt to send them to the gallows before they themselves fall into it. Polly and Lucy also come to say goodbye to McHeat. When the jailer reports on the appearance of four more women, each of whom came with the child, Macchit exclaims: “What? Four more wives? That’s too much! Hey, tell the sheriff’s people that I’m ready.”
The actor asks the beggar if he is really going to execute Macchit. The beggar replies that, for the perfection of the play, the poet must be as relentless as the judge, and Machit will surely be hanged. The actor does not agree with such a finale: it turns out a hopeless tragedy. The opera should have a happy ending. The beggar decides to correct the matter. This is not difficult, because in works of this kind it does not matter at all whether events develop logically or illogically. To please the taste of the audience, it is necessary to shout “Pardon!” with triumph to release the convict back to his wives.
Finding himself free, Machit realizes that he still has to get a wife. He invites all to have fun and dance on this joyful day and announces his marriage to Polly.


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Summary of the Beggar’s Opera