The Caucasian Chalk Circle examines the relations between different classes in a socially stratified society. The society in the play consists of the rich and the poor. These two classes are at war because the rich use their wealth and influence to oppress the poor in their quest for more wealth or power. Having political power, the armed forces, the law courts and money at their disposal the rich easily control and oppress the poor. Consequently, the poor feel dissatisfied with the state of things and fight back in effort to overthrow the ruling class.
Such relations are exemplified at the Governor Abashwili’s palace. The governor is immensely rich from the taxes he collects from the masses while hordes of beggars and petitioners crowd his court seeking favours. The petitioners’ pleas are ignored by the self-centered governor. Furthermore, he intends to displace more poor people in a nearby slum so as to extend his palace. His wife Natella, is no better. She is unkind to the many servants they have. She abuses and physically assaults some of them. During her case against Grusha, she displays her hatred for the poor when she says, “I can’t stand their [common people’s] smell. It gives me migraine.”
The middle class also exploits the poor as exemplified by the rich farmers and the inn keeper. They use their wealth manipulate the law by bribing judges to rule in their favour while they oppress the poor. The middle class own all the land which they rent to the poor. The old woman, for example, was supposed to pay rent to one of the rich farmers. When she failed to raise the amount she is almost evicted.
The ruling class are reckless with the lives of the masses. They use ironshirts as tools to get more territory and wealth without considering the risk the soldiers are exposed to. The princes misappropriated money for war supplies costing the lives of soldiers in the Persia. For the peasants, conscription into the army is forceful even though they have no stakes in the war. It is therefore understandable that Jussup feigned sickness for a long time to avoid being recruited. The old woman lost her two sons in the same war. Yet for the princes the war is a business opportunity.
The ruling class and the middle class have used the armed forces, law courts, their political influence and money to suppress the masses. Even though the iron shirts are from peasant families, they are commanded by the Princes and owe their loyalty to the governors and the Grand Duke. They turn against their own kind just for a little money. This is witnessed when the weavers revolt; they iron shirts are paid by the princes to beat them up. A similar case is when Grusha is hunted down by the two ironshirts who want to get prize money from the fat Prince.
Marxists predict that this unhealthy relations between the ruling class and the masses lead to a revolution by the poor. This is the case in The Caucasian Chalk Circle. In Azdak’s story of the chaos in Egypt, the masses, tired of exploitation by the rich, revolt killing the ruling class to take over the society. In a close parallel, they weavers revolt against the princes plunging the Grusinia into a civil war. During the entire period of this war the poor seem to be running the affairs of Grusinia. Azdak who is the judge during the term rules in favour of the poor. Other peasants like the Irakli, the bandit, come out to fight for poor. He defends the old woman from the rich farmers. They have to be cruel as the rich to defend the poor. The singer comments that Azdak “became a wolf to save the poor from the pack.”
This reign of the peasants is brought to an end by the Grand Duke’s reinstatement. Immediately after which the peasants’ quarter is set ablaze and the poor man’s judge is arrested.
The meeting in the prologue is a contrast of the affairs in the story of the Chalk Circle. The two communities in the prologue exemplify the selflessness of sacrificing individual interests for common good. Brecht’s message thus seems to be that division of a society into classes is detrimental to nationhood and peace of a country.

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