Please wait while we process your payment
If you don't see it, please check your spam folder. Sometimes it can end up there.
Don’t have an account?
Create Your Account
Sign up for your FREE 7-day trial
Already have an account? Log in
Choose Your Plan
$4.99/month + tax
$24.99/year + tax
Save over 50% with a SparkNotes PLUS Annual Plan!
for a group?
Get Annual Plans at a discount when you buy 2 or more!
$18.74 /subscription + tax
Subtotal $37.48 + tax
on 2-49 accounts
on 50-99 accounts
Want 100 or more?
for a customized plan.
You'll be billed after your free trial ends.
7-Day Free Trial
Renews March 4, 2024
February 26, 2024
Discounts (applied to next billing)
This is not a valid promo code.
(one code per order)
Annual Plan - Group Discount
SparkNotes Plus subscription is $4.99/month or $24.99/year as selected above. The free trial period is the first 7 days of your subscription. TO CANCEL YOUR SUBSCRIPTION AND AVOID BEING CHARGED, YOU MUST CANCEL BEFORE THE END OF THE FREE TRIAL PERIOD. You may cancel your subscription on your Subscription and Billing page or contact Customer Support at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your subscription will continue automatically once the free trial period is over. Free trial is available to new customers only.
For the next 7 days, you'll have access to awesome PLUS stuff like AP English test prep, No Fear Shakespeare translations and audio, a note-taking tool, personalized dashboard, & much more!
You’ve successfully purchased a group discount. Your group members can use the joining link below to redeem their group membership. You'll also receive an email with the link.
Members will be prompted to log in or create an account to redeem their group membership.
Thanks for creating a SparkNotes account! Continue to start your free trial.
Your PLUS subscription has expired
Macheath is the protagonist and hero of The Threepenny
Opera. As the master criminal of London, he commits murders
and robberies with aplomb. He is dissatisfied, though, with the
small-time criminal life and aspires to middle-class legitimacy.
At the opening of the play, he is two weeks away from moving all
of his holdings into a bank and turning his gang over to the cops.
Macheath does not kill and steal because he is acting out against
society; he kills and steals because he is good at it. If he can
make money more easily as an honest man, he will do it.
Macheath does not change during the course of the play.
At the end he remains a ruthless criminal who cannot see beyond
his own self-interest. He never expresses remorse for his crimes,
nor does he consider whether he should have done something differently.
He always narrowly focuses on his immediate desires and needs.
Macheath possesses many traditional heroic traits: he
is sexually appealing, funny, charming, and physically powerful.
Throughout the play other characters comment on his charisma. In
his actions, though, Macheath is anything but heroic. He is a thief,
a murderer, and an adulterer. By making Macheath such an appealing,
yet monstrous, character, the question is raised of what makes a
person a hero. In the end, Macheath is perhaps best described as
an ironic hero.
Ace your assignments with our guide to The Threepenny Opera!