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. When Georgi is captured and killed, Natella’s servants and staff urge her to flee the palace with her infant son, Michael. Natella packs too much for the trip, stuffing several trunks with her finest garments and accessories. When her servants tell her she can’t possibly take everything with her, Natella begins fussing over which of her things she should bring along, and instructs a servant-girl who is holding the child to set him down and fetch Natella a pair of saffron shoes she left behind inside the palace. When Natella sees the red sky overhead, signaling fire from the peasants’ riots, she allows herself to be swept away from the palace, leaving her child behind. Later in the play, after the old regime has been restored to power, Natella orders her soldiers to hunt down her child and bring him back to her. His adoptive mother, Grusha, follows Michael back to Nuka after he is taken away by Natella’s soldiers. There, Grusha and Natella stand trial against one another. During the course of the trial, it is revealed that Natella only wants her son back because he stands to inherit his father’s estates. When the unusual judge Azdak proposes that the two women place Michael in the center of a chalk circle and yank on one arm each to try pulling Michael out of the circle and thus be proclaimed his true mother, Natella pulls on her child while Grusha refuses to cause the boy any bodily harm. Grusha is declared Michael’s true mother, and Natella faints when Azdak rules that all of Michael’s inheritance will be dissolved, and will instead go to the city. Thus, Natella represents themes of corruption, injustice, and the vanity of the wealthy and powerful.
Natella Abashwili Quotes in The Caucasian Chalk Circle
The The Caucasian Chalk Circle quotes below are all either spoken by Natella Abashwili or refer to Natella Abashwili. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the University of Minnesota Press edition of The Caucasian Chalk Circle published in 1999.).
Act 1 Quotes
“O blindness of the great! They go their way like gods, great over bent backs, sure of hired fists, trusting in the power which has lasted so long. But long is not forever. O change from age to age! Thou hope of the people!”
Natella Abashwili Character Timeline in The Caucasian Chalk Circle
The timeline below shows where the character Natella Abashwili appears in The Caucasian Chalk Circle. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1: The Noble Child
...their country is fighting. The governor, flanked by Ironshirts—his soldiers and guards—approaches the church with Natella and Michael, who is pushed through the crowd in an ornate carriage. The crowd of... (full context)
...enters the church, the Fat Prince greets them, and wishes a happy Easter to Georgi, Natella, and their Michael, playfully tickling the child. Natella tells the Fat Prince of her husband... (full context)
...in the distance, the Governor, his family, and their entourage return home from the service. Natella continues talking about the expansion to the palace, while a group of prominent architects arrive... (full context)
...brother in the mountains she can go to for help. Simon expresses his loyalty to Natella, despite the fact that the Palace Guard has mutinied against the Abashwilis. Grusha tells Simon... (full context)
Act 3: In the Northern Mountains
Act 4: The Story of the Judge
Arkadi reveals that eventually the Grand Duke returned to Nuka, as did the Governor’s wife, Natella. The Fat Prince was beheaded and deposed, and Azdak became seized by fear. Back in... (full context)
Act 5: The Chalk Circle
...when the governor’s wife returned for the child, and Grusha confesses that she believed that Natella would never find them. The cook tells Grusha that she has wronged Simon, who has... (full context)
...court for fifteen minutes, telling Grusha that he has momentarily lost interest in her case. Natella’s lawyers tell her that they have the verdict “in the bag.” The cook laments that... (full context)