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The Caucasian Chalk Circle by Bertolt Brecht
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The Caucasian Chalk Circle (1955)

by Bertolt Brecht

Other authors: Ruth Berlau (Author), Paul Dessau (Contributor)

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The start of the play was so boring. The actual interest started after the narration of the story of the tale about the child. I liked the judgement and the judge , but my winner character is Grusha. The simple hearted girl who took care of the baby so well against all odds. I really get amused at the narration of the character of governor's wife Natella , her love for gowns and i also derived fun from the description of her doctors. I do not understand the implication of the "caucasian" in the title. Never mind, I liked the plot and treatment too. ( )
  Alabala | Aug 24, 2013 |
This play was great! I never knew Brecht could be such a humanist! I liked how it seemed like a real adventure, and you could imagine it taking place in a real painted wooden outdoors instead of on a stupid set. I liked how there were twists and turns and heartwarming young lovers with the politics! My favourite character was Azdak, though. The ending was a big challenge for me--if you're pro-revolution, you have to be okay with people getting their shit taken away, and not all those people will be the enemy--some will be the ones Brecht mentions, the ones who shelter under the big people's wings. I mean hell, that's me, and ... you? If you work a job in this economy and want to live your politics, instead of just talk about them, you're playing with fire.* And yet fire's all that warms our tired proletarian hearts! Gee whiz, Brecht really brings it all home with this one. Gewöhnungseffekt.

*(An alternative metaphor, given the subject matter of the play, would have been "stealing a baby.") ( )
1 vote MeditationesMartini | Jul 5, 2012 |
One of the weaker works of Brecht. Good writing spoiled by a demagogic treatment of the topic. ( )
  jorgearanda | Mar 19, 2009 |
Writing in exile in the USA during the Second World War, Brecht borrowed from an ancient Chinese story-echoed in the Judgement of Solomon-in which two women both claim the same child. Brecht's subversion of this tale provides a parable which seems to say that resources should go to those in whose hands they will be most productive. Thanks to the rascally judge, Azdak, one of Brecht's most vivid creations, this story, at least, has a happy outcome. The child is entrusted to the peasant Grusha, who has loved it and nurtured it.

Originally intended for Broadway, this translation by James and Tania Stern (with verse translation by W. H. Auden) has been thoroughly revised, and the volume includes a full introduction and commentary by John Willett and Ralph Manheim. ( )
  Helger55 | Apr 27, 2008 |
Despite the content of this play, I can't help but feel romantic about this treasured little book of which we have two. On one of my first dates with my husband in 1980 we went to this play and I found when we moved in together we had the same copy of this book. As you can see I have kept them. The play is brilliant of course, and considered today , how history has changed! ( )
  bhowell | Apr 20, 2008 |
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» Add other authors (28 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bertolt Brechtprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Berlau, RuthAuthorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dessau, PaulContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Among the ruins of a destroyed Caucasian village the members of two kolchos villages are sitting in a circle, smoking and drinking wine.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0816635285, Paperback)

This series of plays for the 11-16 age range offers contemporary drama and new editions of classic plays. The series has been developed to support classroom teaching and to meet the requirements of the National Curriculum Key Stages 3 and 4. The plays are suitable for classroom reading and performance; many have large casts and an equal mix of parts for boys and girls. Each play includes strategies and activities to introduce and use the plays in the classroom. In "The Caucasian Chalk Circle", Russian peasants try to settle a land dispute by staging a parable play which explores the concepts of justice, social oppression and revolution, through the medium of an ancient fairy tale. There are 67 parts, 48 of which are male and 19 female.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:39:55 -0400)

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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