Study Guide

The Threepenny Opera Scene 9

By Bertolt Brecht

Scene 9

Friday morning. 5 AM. Mac the Knife, who has been with the whores again, has been betrayed by whores. He is about to be hanged.

  • In the jail cell yet again, Mac attempts to bribe Constable Smith to let him out, but to no avail. He sings the "Call from the Grave".
  • Matthew and Jake visit Mac. Mac asks them for money. They scold him for spending time with Suky Tawdry rather than running away.
  • Jake and Matthew run off to look for money, hoping to be back before Mac is executed.
  • Polly comes asking for a visit with her "husband," and Smith gives her five minutes with him. Mac asks her for money, too, but she doesn't have any. She leaves.
  • Smith and Brown come in with some asparagus for Mac, and Mac and Brown work out their final accounts (the bribes that Mac owes Brown) before Mac is hanged.
  • The Peachums, Lucy, Jenny, Matthew, and Jake show up all at once. They all say their goodbyes in their own way.
  • Mac begs for forgiveness in song.
  • Smith leads Mac away, but suddenly a royal official shows up to pardon him—a deus ex machina.
  • Peachum declares that all injustice should be spared persecution, just like Mac.