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The Caucasian Chalk Circle plot summary, character breakdowns, context and analysis, and performance Brecht, Bertolt, John Willett, and Ralph Manheim. The Caucasian Chalk Circle has ratings and reviews. °°°·.°·..·°¯°·._. Few authors have had such a dramatic effect as Bertolt Brecht. His work has. Complete summary of Bertolt Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of The Caucasian Chalk Circle.

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Amongst the rubble of a bombed out village caucasiwn the Caucasus Mountains, in the Soviet Republic of Georgia, an expert from the State Reconstruction Committee has come to meet with the members of two kolchos, sometimes translated kolkhoz or collective farms.

The Caucasian Chalk Circle by Bertolt Brecht in a new translation by Alistair Beaton

At stake is the fate of a valley in the aftermath of World War II. The Galinsk kolchos villagers, who raise goats and used the valley before the war, wish to reclaim the land for grazing, while the Rosa Luxemburg kolchos villagers are fruit growers and want to plant an orchard. The Rosa Luxemburg farmers have proposed a plan to irrigate the valley and exponentially increase the productivity of the land.

To support their claim, the fruit farmers have hired a famous local singer and prepared a play with circel, The Chalk Circlebased on a Chinese parable. After this frame is established, Brecht never fully returns us to the meeting of the kolchos, instead, he focuses on the play within the play for remaining five scenes; a classic five-act epic structure.


The story begins in the midst of a revolution, the Governor is executed, and his wife caycasian flee.

The Caucasian Chalk Circle review – rare staging reveals the true Brecht

In the chaos, their infant son Michael is left behind. When no one else will take responsibility for the child, a servant named Grusha takes him up and goes on the run. The next three years unfold in a series of episodes showing how Grusha and Michael survive. As always, Brecht explores contradictions in his work, prying open the two sides to every transaction and probing the reasons people act against their own self-interest, while others blindly pursue it.

Grusha nearly leaves the baby with a peasant couple, but cannot, against her better judgement. She takes refuge with her brother for a time, but is not welcomed by her sister-in-law, and though she had promised to wait for her true love Simon Chachava, she must marry someone else so she and Michael can survive.

The story shifts gears and we learn how Azdak, a clever but corrupt judge, has used his wits brdcht keep his position during the years of revolution and war, and finally after the restoration of the old regime. When Grusha lets go, chlk is clear that she is the better mother.


Sevenedited by John Willett and Ralph Manheim. Brecht, Bertolt, and Eric Bentley.

The Caucasian Chalk Circle. Guide written by Nathan Markiewicz. See all upcoming theatre performances.

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The Caucasian Chalk Circle by Bertolt Brecht

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Characters Simon Chachava or Shashava. Grusha Vachnadze or Vashnadze. Mostly male cast Includes mature adult, adult, young adult, early teen, child, elderly characters.

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