Study Guide

The Threepenny Opera ACT II, Scene 4

By Bertolt Brecht

ACT II, Scene 4

Thursday afternoon: Mac the Knife takes leave of his wife and flees from his father-in-law to the Heaths of Highgate.

  • Polly goes to the stable to warn Mac about the trap her folks are setting for him. He puts her in charge of the "business."
  • The gang comes in and Matt says they had better get to work. The Queen is being crowned, which provides lots of opportunities for thieving in the crowds.
  • When Mac tells the guys that Polly's the new boss, they try to challenge her, but she puts them in their place and threatens to tan their hides if they question her.
  • Mac kisses Polly goodbye and leaves.
  • Mrs. Peachum bribes Jenny, the prostitute, to report Mac the Knife to the police if she sees him. She throws in a ballad about Mac's sexual obsession for good measure.