hello literary london

For the first week of class thus far, I’m really enjoying the material and what’s to come. I’m into the idea of looking at historical sites that we’re reading in class and I would love to compare old photographs to those of today. For today’s topic, Newgate Prison is the main point. The featured photo is Newgate Prison today.

The Beggar’s Opera was the first piece that we read, and I must say that I’m appalled with it. Just when I thought one person was a good one, they turned and I completely changed my mind. Macheath was the most intriguing character, although the most problematic, and his troubles really gave me a glimpse of 18th century London. What I found most provoking was the fact that even after he slept around with all these women and claimed to have married all of them, he was still saved by them. Polly and Lucy demanded to be hanged with him because they couldn’t imagine a life without him. It really goes to show that no matter what, a man could do whatever he pleased, and he probably wouldn’t get in too much trouble. After all, that’s what wealth was for.

When Macheath went to Newgate Prison, he was able to buy his way to a better room and lighter handcuffs. He basically bought luxury in a prison, which would be absurd and unthinkable today. It’s never really dawned on me how things change so rapidly and right before my eyes, because I’ve only ever lived in one kind of world, and to see one so different reminds me that we definitely have come a long way to be where we are today. I’m looking forward to uncovering more of London’s rich history and develop a new understanding and love for the city I desperately want to visit some day. What better way to learn about the city than unveil its secrets?


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