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York University
EN 2140
Aleksandar Lukac

The Beggar’s Opera – February, 28 2013 John Gay (1685/1732) Great friend of Jonathan Swift and Alexander Pope who had helped him come up with the idea for The Beggar’s Opera.(1728) The world of the thieves and the highwaymen offers an extended satire of the parliamentary system suggesting that it is just robbery and gangsterism. The social system of the beggars is as elaborate and hypocritical as that of the upper class Brecht translated exactly. Satirizing the world of music too: Before The Beggar’s Opera was written, 2 sopranos Francesca Cuzzoni and Faustina Bordini had actually come to blows on stage. More importantly however, it changed theater – invented a new game- the ballad opera in which popular tunes are sung with new original lyrics - the audience would recognize the tunes and be able to hum or, soon, sing along. o Close connections to the Comedia d’arte – went into society in order to learn of the societies environment in order to incorporate these ideas in the plays. The play is a reflection of an overwhelming need for independence that was felt by the lower c
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