The Caucasian Chalk Circle

by

Bertolt Brecht

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Grand Duke Character Analysis

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, who was disguised as a beggar, when the Grand Duke first fled from his seat of power. At the end of the play, the Grand Duke is rumored to have returned to power, backed by mercenaries from the Persian army.
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Grand Duke Character Timeline in The Caucasian Chalk Circle

The timeline below shows where the character Grand Duke appears in The Caucasian Chalk Circle. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 3: In the Northern Mountains
Chaos and Chance Theme Icon
...the music ends, the guests at the wedding are gossiping loudly about some news: the Grand Duke has returned, but the Princes remain against him. Apparently, the Grand Duke has been lent... (full context)
Act 4: The Story of the Judge
Justice and Injustice Theme Icon
Chaos and Chance Theme Icon
...of judge he was.” Arkadi sings that on the Easter Sunday of the revolt against the Grand Duke, Azdak hid a fugitive in his hut in the woods. (full context)
Corruption Theme Icon
Justice and Injustice Theme Icon
...to. Azdak watches the old man eat, noting that he “lick[s] his chops like a Grand Duke. ” Suspicious, Azdak asks the old man to show him the palm of his hand,... (full context)
Corruption Theme Icon
Justice and Injustice Theme Icon
...course of the evening, came to realize that the old beggar was in fact “the Grand Duke himself,” and then felt great shame at having hidden him. Azdak immediately turned himself into... (full context)
Corruption Theme Icon
Justice and Injustice Theme Icon
Azdak arrives in Nuka in chains, shouting aloud about his guilt in having helped the Grand Duke —whom he refers to as “the Grand Thief, the Grand Butcher, the Grand Swindler”—escape justice.... (full context)
Corruption Theme Icon
Justice and Injustice Theme Icon
Chaos and Chance Theme Icon
...Ironshirts ask Azdak whether his neighbors back in his village judged him for sheltering the Grand Duke. Shauwa answers on Azdak’s behalf, and tells the Ironshirts that everyone back in the village... (full context)
Corruption Theme Icon
Justice and Injustice Theme Icon
Chaos and Chance Theme Icon
...the Ironshirts asks Azdak if he is still angry with himself for not having killed the Grand Duke, and Azdak confesses that he let the old man run away. Shauwa attests to this... (full context)
Corruption Theme Icon
Justice and Injustice Theme Icon
Chaos and Chance Theme Icon
...coup of Grusinia. It was a success, he says, except for the fact that the Grand Duke escaped, and that a rebellion is simmering on the outskirts of town. The Fat Prince... (full context)
Corruption Theme Icon
Justice and Injustice Theme Icon
...whispers to his nephew that the proceedings are “a mere formality.” Azdak, pretending to be the Grand Duke, presents himself before the “judge.” He claims that the it was the Princes who forced... (full context)
Corruption Theme Icon
Justice and Injustice Theme Icon
Chaos and Chance Theme Icon
Arkadi reveals that eventually the Grand Duke returned to Nuka, as did the Governor’s wife, Natella. The Fat Prince was beheaded and... (full context)
Corruption Theme Icon
Justice and Injustice Theme Icon
Chaos and Chance Theme Icon
...begins looking through it to find out what punishment he might receive from the reinstated Grand Duke. He laments the fact that he cannot hide, nothing that, since he has helped virtually... (full context)
Act 5: The Chalk Circle
Corruption Theme Icon
Justice and Injustice Theme Icon
Chaos and Chance Theme Icon
...as Azdak is beaten. The Corporal and a messenger arrive with a dispatch from the Grand Duke stating that Azdak has been appointed as the official judge in the trial. The confused... (full context)