EighteenthCentury Literature Pirates Princes and Prostitutes

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It is therefore, being the true representatives of their culture and civilisation, the British authors presented exact scenario of their times. Instead of hiding out the crimes and offences under the cover of morality, Gay had revealed that gangs of thieves had been active in London in planning to steal the money of the people through their nefarious designs. “Gangs of men began to make a presence in the city and thievery became a booming business. One such gangster, Joseph Blake had been arrested at the instigation of Jonathan Wild, who was comparatively similar to that of Al Capone.” (VanHorn, 2003, p. 4) Based on the criminal activities being exercised in London, Gay points out how the organised crimes and offences had been in vogue in the social establishment, which used to be conducted under the supervision of law enforcing agencies including police and jail staff. In other words the public offices had turned out to be the patrons of criminals and offenders at large. His play reveals how the so-called thief catcher Mr. Peachum, along with his corrupt jailer friend, Lockit, had set eyes on the wealth of the highwayman Macheath, as both Peachum and Lockit were determined to kill Macheath in order to capture his riches. Instead of portraying whores and thieves as villains, Gay mocks at these characters of society as the slaves to their wishes and desires, on which they maintained seldom control.
However, this wonderful literary work also shows the direction of domestic, social, economic and political control through its major and minor characters.