The Caucasian Chalk Circle

by

Bertolt Brecht

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The Caucasian Chalk Circle Characters

Grusha Vashnadze

The protagonist of The Caucasian Chalk Circle and an emblem of goodness, righteousness, and justice, the servant-girl Grusha represents Brecht’s desire for a society built on the success and triumph of the lower classes over… read analysis of Grusha Vashnadze

Azdak

A village scrivener—or writer and handler of official and legal documents—who by a twist of fate is appointed judge in Nuka during the play’s second half. After unwittingly sheltering the Grand Duke in the days… read analysis of Azdak

Arkadi Tscheidse

A renowned singer who has been brought to entertain the members of the dairy farm and the fruit farm as they gather together to celebrate the triumph of reason in their deliberations over which farm… read analysis of Arkadi Tscheidse

Natella Abashwili

The wife of Georgi Abashwili and a similarly vain and uncaring individual. Whereas her husband’s main concern is an architectural project which will expand their lavish palace, Natella’s main concern is her dressing and finery… read analysis of Natella Abashwili

Georgi Abashwili

A Governor of Grusinia who lives in a lavish palace in the town of Nuka. Despite the fact that his country is at war and his constituents are mired in filth and poverty, Georgi is… read analysis of Georgi Abashwili
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Michael Abashwili

The “noble child” who is at the very center of the play’s action, the role of Michael is a non-speaking one which is, in productions of The Caucasian Chalk Circle, often portrayed by a… read analysis of Michael Abashwili

The Fat Prince

The Fat Prince, along with his brother (who is alluded to but never seen onstage), stages a coup early on in the play, dethroning the Grand Duke of Grusinia and all his government officials. One… read analysis of The Fat Prince

Simon Shashava

A foot soldier who is in love with the servant-girl and protagonist, Grusha. After proposing marriage to Grusha early on in the play, before the Fat Prince’s coup, Simon is quickly separated from his… read analysis of Simon Shashava

Corporal

A commander in the Fat Prince’s army who attempts to steal Michael away after recognizing the child due to his being swaddled in fine linens. Backed into a corner, so to speak, Grusha smacks the… read analysis of Corporal

Lavrenti Vashnadze

Grusha’s brother, who lives in the Northern mountains. Grusha travels to her brother’s house after fleeing Nuka, imagining that her brother will welcome her and her adopted son with open arms, giving them meals and… read analysis of Lavrenti Vashnadze

Aniko

Lavrenti’s judgmental, devoutly religious wife. She is concerned that Grusha is traveling alone with a child, as she does not approve of having children out of wedlock, but Lavrenti assures her that Grusha is simply… read analysis of Aniko

Jussup

The man Grusha marries. He seems to be on his deathbed when the marriage is arranged and when Grusha says her vows, but shortly after the wedding he is inexplicably revived. In the years that… read analysis of Jussup

Grand Duke

The ruler of Grusinia, who is removed from power by the Fat Prince’s coup at the start of the play. It is revealed in the fourth act that Azdak unwillingly sheltered the Grand Duke… read analysis of Grand Duke

Girl Tractorist

In the play’s prologue, the “girl tractorist” is one of the fruit farmers who successfully makes a case that the disputed territory should be given to the fruit farmers instead of the dairy farmers who… read analysis of Girl Tractorist

Chorus

The play relies heavily on narration, much of which is delivered by the chorus. Throughout the play, peasants, soldiers, government officials, merchants, servants, lawyers, and doctors are all portrayed by the chorus. By employing an… read analysis of Chorus
Minor Characters
Shalva
A commanding officer in the Governor’s army.
Mother-in-law
Jussup’s mother and Grusha’s mother-in-law. A fussy, griping woman who is in a hurry to marry off her son before his death, and who seems less than overjoyed when he makes a sudden recovery.
Shauwa
A policeman and a confidant of Azdak. He is described as a “weak man” who accompanies Azdak to Nuka, and remains there with him once Azdak is appointed judge.
Cook
The Cook is one of Grusha’s allies in her trial, who catches Grusha up on what has been going on in Nuka during the years she has been away, and advocates for her during her legal battle against Natella.