The Threepenny Opera Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What is the purpose of the prologue? Who sings it? What does it inform the audience?

The prologue introduces the character Mac the Knife and sets up the play's setting. The Ballad Singer, or narrator sings this song. It tells of how sly and tricky Mac is and how he's capable of eluding the police and getting away with the most heinous of crimes.

2. Describe Mr. Peachum. What is his business? What is his demeanor toward others?

Mr. Peachum is Polly's father. He owns The Beggar's Friend, Ltd., an emporium for beggar's clothing and accessories. He is hateful and money-grubbing and is only concerned with himself and his profits.

3. Where is The Threepenny Opera set? Include the general setting and specific settings.

The Threepenny Opera is set in England during the coronation of Queen Victoria. Specifically, scenes take place at Mr. Peachum's shop, a stable, and a jail. There are also scene changes for song performances, where the lighting shifts and actors enter a more "neutral space."

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