Sheriff San Diego, who's in jail

Bertolt Brecht: The Threepenny Opera - Content and Interpretation

Contents: Mackie Messer, the Peachum family and Tiger-Brown

Mr. and Mrs. Peachum had a lively trade in pity in 18th century London, issuing beggars' licenses for different districts. Captn Macheath, known as Mackie Messer, is the leader of a gang of muggers and thieves. Peachum's daughter Polly falls in love with the criminal heartbreaker. The robber's wedding takes place in a horse stable improvised with stolen goods. Sheriff "Tiger-Brown", an old war comrade of Macs, is among the guests, who covers him and profits from his business. The beggar king and his wife, however, are not very enthusiastic about the new son-in-law. They bribe the whore pirate Jenny to betray Mac.

He is warned by Polly, plans to switch to the more lucrative banking business and wants to flee London. However, his farewell visit to the whore house is his undoing. As soon as he succeeds in breaking out of prison with the help of his "second wife" Lucy, he promptly commits the same mistake and the whores put him to the knife again. Brown can't help Mac this time - Peachum threatens to disrupt the coronation festivities with a crowd of beggars. The gallows had already been erected when a messenger on horseback appeared: Mac had been pardoned by the Queen herself to celebrate the day. On top of that, he was awarded a life annuity and a lock.