Christian McKay's Reviews > The Beggar's Opera

The Beggar's Opera by John Gay
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's review
Jul 16, 2009

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Read in July, 2009

The play itself isn't nearly as fascinating as the history behind it: rookeries, one out of every four houses a gin distillery, thief-catchers threatening their prey with a hanging for the forty pound reward if they didn't bring them a certain amount of stolen goods every week . . . fascinating stuff. I was amazed at the beggar's commentary who announces a happy ending that is, he admits, completely undeserved. Maybe I would've liked the play itself more if I knew more about eighteenth century Italian Operas that Gay is satirizing. Guess it's time to get busy.

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