정치 사회 풍자로서 죤 게이의 『거지 오페라』 연구
John Gay's The Beggar's Opera as a Political and Social Satire
The immense popularity of The Beggar"s Opera was a consequence of a fusion of political and social satire. It also burlesqued the dominant operatic form of the day, Italian opera. It originated the ballad opera, a genre abounding with songs set to familiar tunes. The Beggar"s Opera satirizes the life of London"s underworld. Gay"s presentation of lower classes is a burlesque, but he uses the inversion of values to expose the corrupt values of high society and of the Government. The implication throughout is that the behavior of Walpole, Prime Minister, and other Whig leaders is not different from that of Peachum, who deals with stolen goods, except that the corruption they practice is on a much larger scale. The quarrels of Peachum and Lockit, the chief jailor, and their treachery to one another are a picture of what goes on in councils of state. Macheath and his gang of highway robbers, whom Gay ironically likens to a group of aristocrats and politicians, repeatedly express their conviction that high society is more corrupt than the underworld. The play is also the ironical attack on contemporary social manners. Gay presents the inverted mercantile world which is operated by the cash bond alone. In handling the theme of love and marriage, Gay again satirizes the moral vacuum at the heart of London"s gentry. In conclusion the play shows that self-interest and greed are the main driving forces of urban society, from the high class to the underworld. The money is the main goal both aimed at. The popularity of the play goes on in our time inspiring adaptations and imitations, including Bertolt Brecht"s Die Dreigroschenoper.
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