The Threepenny Opera

The Threepenny Opera Character List

Macheath or Mac the Knife

London's greatest criminal, he is charge of a gang of thieves. He marries Polly Peachum in a stable and is later arrested when her father finds out. After being hunted down he is about to be hung at the end. However, in a deus ex machina (intervention from god), he is saved by the Queen and knighted.

Jonathan Jeremiah Peachum

The Beggar King, Peachum is in charge of all of London's beggars. When he learns that Macheath has married his daughter he forces the sheriff to arrest Macheath by threatening to disrupt the coronation ceremony. He suceeds in nearly having Mac hung.

Celia Peachum

Polly's mother and the wife of Mr. Peachum; she helps him run the business. After Mac marries Polly, she goes to Mac's whores and bribes them into turning Mac over to the police for her.

Polly Peachum

Peachum's daughter, she marries Mac the Knife after knowing him for only five days. Her parents have him arrested and Polly is dismayed to learn that he has another wife, Lucy. She takes over his business after his arrest and likely takes his money at the end.

Tiger Brown

The Sheriff of London, he is a personal friend of Mac's and takes a kickback on all of the money Mac steals. He is upset when Peachum forces him to arrest Mac but does so because he is afraid of what the Queen will do to him if the coronation ceremony is disrupted. He later struggles to talk to Mac and is upset when Mac rejects his friendship.


Tiger Brown's daughter, she is also "married" to Mac the Knife. She and Polly meet after Mac is arrested and Mac claims that Lucy is his real wife.

Low-Dive Jenny

A prostitute who used to live with Mac; she is the one whom Mrs. Peachum bribes to turn in Mac. After Mac escapes his first arrest, she goes to the Peachums and gives them information that allow them to arrest him again.


A constable who works for Brown; Mac tries to bribe him at the end but cannot cough up enough money to make Smith free him.

The Reverend Kimball

The man who marries Polly and Mac; he arrives at their wedding set in a stable.


A young man who tried begging without a license from Peachum. He was beaten and forced to go to Peachum's business in order to get outfitted. Peachum gives him a place to beg but yells at him for feeling sympathy.


A member of Mac the Knife's gang.


A member of Mac the Knife's gang. He is also present in the whorehouse when Mac gets arrested the first time.


A member of Mac the Knife's gang.


A member of Mac the Knife's gang. He is sarcastic and constantly contradicts Mac.

Rest of Gang, Beggars, Constables, Whores