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The Threepenny Opera: Methuen Student Editionby Bertolt Brecht
Synopses & Reviews
This Student Edition of Brecht's satire on the capitalist society of the Weimar Republic features an extensive introduction and commentary that includes a plot summary, discussion of the context, themes, characters, style and language as well as questions for further study and notes on words and phrases in the text. It is the perfect edition for students of theatre and literature.
Based on John Gay's eighteenth century Beggar's Opera, The Threepenny Opera, first staged in 1928 at the Theater am Schiffbauerdamm in Berlin, is a vicious satire on the bourgeois capitalist society of the Weimar Republic, but set in a mock-Victorian Soho. It focuses on the feud between Macheaf - an amoral criminal - and his father in law, a racketeer who controls and exploits London's beggars and is intent on having Macheaf hanged. Despite the resistance by Macheaf's friend the Chief of Police, Macheaf is eventually condemned to hang, until in a comic reversal the queen pardons him and grants him a title and land. With Kurt Weill's unforgettable music - one of the earliest and most successful attempts to introduce jazz to the theatre - it became a popular hit throughout the western world.
The text is presented in the trusted translation by Ralph Manheim and John Willett.
The Threepenny Operais Bertolt Brecht's savage satire on the bourgeois Weimar Republic, and his most performed and studied play. Edited and translated by Ralph Manheim and John Willett, this student edition contains commentary, analysis and context, as well as the full text of the play.
One of the major dramatists of the twentieth century, Bertolt Brecht's plays include The Life of Galileo, Mother Courage and her Childrenand The Caucasian Chalk Circle. He died in 1956.
About the Author
Born in Augsburg, Germany, in 1898 and died in Berlin in 1956. With plays such as The Threepenny Opera, Mother Courage, Life of Galileo, and The Caucasian Chalk Circle, he cemented his reputation as one of the most modern and innovative of twentieth century dramatists.
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