Beggar's Opera Analysis

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Who would have thought that a story framed around a beggar would have earned a place for itself as one of the most performed operatic works in English theatre history? Of course, this statement on its own makes anyone a doubting Thomas and as much I would like to experience time travel and enjoy some afternoon tea with John Gay, a more realistic journey would be to engage with technology at the very tips of my fingers. Let me take you three centuries ago and walk through Gay’s life to find out what might have influenced him to write the Beggar’s Opera. It all started on 30 June 1685 in Barnstaple, England where Gay was born. Gay went to London after finishing his studies to be an apprentice to a silk merchant but he disliked the job. He continued exploring other jobs in London; being a secretary to the Duchess of Monmouth as well as Lord Clarendon, which all did not last. However, Gay had a passion towards the pastoral genre, which is known to beautify the life of rural people creating an unrealistic misconception of their lifestyle. He then became an English poet which gained him a spot in English history.…show more content…
Racy and satirical spoken dialogue are interspersed with songs whose lyrics elaborate the story conveyed but melodies however were not composed specifically for the play but were of well-known popular tunes of that time. These popular tunes would then be familiar and relatable to both the rich and the poor. The vocal style of singing opposed the grandeur style of Italian opera and the melodies were also not as heavily ornamented as expected of an opera. Coming to think about this change, a simple tune in turn makes it even more memorable and sing-able to anyone. Who wouldn’t like to hum to a tune that people around them can relate to? As so, the Beggar’s Opera is interjected with popular songs that are short in duration; this furthermore reduces disruptions to the flow of the play. It may be unconventional and unexpected of what the audience gets out of their usual dose of Italian operas but the underlying idea of this work serves to convey a bigger message, which may help to crush the snobbery audience of their snobbish

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