The Beggar's Opera


In 1729, Gay wrote a sequel, Polly, set in the West Indies: Macheath, sentenced to transportation, has escaped and become a pirate, while Mrs Trapes has set up in white-slaving and shanghais Polly to sell her to the wealthy planter Mr Ducat. Polly escapes dressed as a boy, and after many adventures marries the son of a Carib chief.

The political satire, however, was even more pointed in Polly than in The Beggar's Opera, with the result that Prime Minister Robert Walpole leaned on the Lord Chamberlain to have it banned, and it was not performed until fifty years later.[17]

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