A comprehensive study guide offering in-depth explanation, essay, and test prep for John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera, without a doubt the most popular drama written during the hundred years between 1700 and 1800.
As a comedy of the Restoration period of British drama, the humor in The Beggar’s Opera serves as a medium for carrying the author's meaning - social satire - which is applicable in all countries at all times. Moreover, the basis of the play's success rests on three factors: its artistic merit; its originality (this is in part measured by the number of later dramas which clearly display the influence of its innovations); and its pervasive humor.
John Gay (30 June 1685 – 4 December 1732) was an English poet and dramatist and member of the Scriblerus Club. He is best remembered for The Beggar's Opera (1728), a ballad opera. The characters, including Captain Macheath and Polly Peachum, became household names.