Goat-herders to whom the disputed valley in the Prologue used to belong. Peasants on the Left Fruit farmers who wish to irrigate the disputed valley in the Prologue. Delegate A man sent by the state to mediate the dispute between the peasants over who owns the valley. He gives the valley to the fruit farmers in the end. Singer The man who sings the parable of the Caucasian Chalk Circle to the peasants after the delegate has decided to give the valley to the fruit farmers. Georgi Abashwili The Governor, he is beheaded after his brother the Fat Prince successfully stages a coup.
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Two groups of peasants want to claim a valley that was abandoned during WW II when the Germans invaded. One group used to live in the valley and herded goats there. The other group is from a neighboring valley and hopes to plant fruit trees. A Delegate has been sent to arbitrate the dispute. The fruit growers explain that they have elaborate plans to irrigate the valley and produce a tremendous amount of food.
The goat-herders claim the land based on the fact that they have always lived there. In the end, the fruit farmers get the valley because they will use the land better. The peasants then hold a small party and a Singer agrees to tell them the story of the Chalk Circle. The Caucasian Chalk Circle is actually two stories that come together at the end. The first story is that of Grusha and the second story is that of Azdak. The Governor has just had a child, Michael , and his wife Natella is incredibly jealous of the attention that he gives to his son.
In her haste, she leaves behind her child. The Grand Duke and many of the soldiers flee as well. Grusha, a kitchen maid, becomes engaged to a soldier named Simon. Soon thereafter, during the coup, she has Michael handed to her. She then takes Michael with her and flees the city, heading north. He allows her to live there over the winter. They hold a wedding, but during the reception the guests learn that the war is over and that the Grand Duke has raised an army and returned.
The "dying" man, Jussup , realizes that he can no longer be drafted into the war. He miraculously recovers and throws all the guests out of the house. Grusha, now stuck with a husband she did not want, is forced to become a good wife to him. One day Simon returns and learns that she is married. Grusha follows them back to the city. The next story that is told is that of Azdak. The man turns out to be the Grand Duke. The soldiers refuse to believe him and he is released.
The Fat Prince soon shows up with his nephew, whom he wants to make the new judge. However, he agrees to let the soldiers decide who the next judge should be. After staging a mock trial, they choose Azdak. He then judges four very strange cases, ruling in each case in favor of the poor person. Azdak soon gains a reputation for supporting the poor. However, after two years as a judge, the Grand Duke returns. Azdak is arrested as a "traitor" by the soldiers and is about to be killed by them.
However, the Grand Duke, remembering that Azdak saved his life, reappoints Azdak to be the judge, thereby saving his life. Azdak now takes over the case of Grusha and the child. Grusha wants to keep the child, whom she has raised for the past two years. Even Simon goes to the trial and promises Grusha that he will support her.
After hearing all the arguments and learning about what Grusha has done to take care of the child, Azdak orders a Chalk Circle to be drawn. He places the child in the middle and orders the two women to pull, saying that whichever woman can pull the child out of the circle will get him. Azdak orders them to do it again, and again Grusha lets go. His last act is to divorce Grusha, thereby allowing her to marry Simon. During the dancing that follows, Azdak disappears forever.
The Caucasian Chalk Circle Character List
Oct 20, Czarny Pies rated it liked it Recommends it for: Anyone looking for a light night at the theatre Recommended to Czarny by: Everyone. Brecht was idolized in the s and and s. Shelves: german-lit Bertolt Brecht considered himself to be a great author which is not terribly surprising as most people are at least partially self-delusion. In fact Brecht had a wicked sense of humour and a great instincts on how to use the space on the stage to best effect.
The Caucasian Chalk Circle Summary
Caucasian Chalk Circle Introduction The parable that opens the play sets the structure. The entire prologue is absolutely communist in its message. Any capitalist society would argue that land belongs to those who own it but Brecht stresses on the fact that it should go to those who can use it in a better way. Prologue The play opens with a scene in which two groups goat breeding kolchos and fruit growing kolchos fight over a piece of land. An expert comes from the capital in order to resolve their fight. The goat breeding kolchos argue that the land belongs to them and was away during the revolt.
The Caucasian Chalk Circle
Born in Augsburg, Germany, he studied philosophy and medicine at the University of Munich before becoming a medical orderly in a German military hospital during the First World War. This experience reinforced his hatred of war and influenced his support for the failed Socialist revolution in After the war Brecht returned to university but became more interested in literature - his first play to be produced was Baal in Brecht added his own lyrics which illustrated his growing belief in Marxism.