Eric H. Santana Professor Chris Alexander
July 6, 2008
The Character Of Macheath
The character of Mack the Knife is that of a powerful, violent, intelligent individual. The play leads me to believe this because of many instances where Macheath has shown some of these traits or even all of them together. By calling Macheath powerful I mean to say he is physically imposing and a one on one confrontation with him would most likely result in a victory for Mack. In calling Macheath violent I mean to say his personality is one that allows room for violence to be used for his personal benefit with no remorse.
One instance where the play leads me to believe Macheath is a physically powerful person is Act one Scene two. Macheath displays his power after his henchman Matt makes a dirty joke involving Macheath. In Stage directions Macheath brings Matt down to the floor without much effort: "Macheath suddenly grabs Matthew and gently jerks him to the floor."(13)
In choosing the word gently the play communicates to me that this wasn't an action that required a good deal of Mack's strength but was done with ease. This also communicates to me that Macheath underwent his action knowing he would not be challenged by anyone. I feel this way because the play makes no indication that Matt was struggling with Mack as he was brought to the floor and also because he made no effort to express disapproval of mack's actions. Matt was in a position where he was threatened by both Mack's status and by Mack's physical qualities; seeing as how if someone is not physically dominating they could quickly be killed in Mack's line of work, even by partners simply because it's easy.
Within this same passage the play...