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Ownership can be defined as the act, state, or right of possessing something and belonging can be defined as human emotional need to be an accepted member of a group. The theme of The Caucasian Chalk Circle is Ownership and Belonging. I did agree to the message of the play. I agreed with the message of the play because the play surrounds mostly Grusha and the Governor’s child (Michael).
The meaning of ownership is displayed within the play by Grusha taking the Governor’s child and raising him as her own and them faces the Governor’s wife in court to decide who is the rightful mother and who does the child belong to which is where the other part of the theme belonging comes into place. The protagonist of the play was Grusha and the antagonist of the play was The Fat Prince Kazbeki. Grusha had many goals in the play which were to protect the child at all costs, marry Simon Shashava, take a journey to her brother’s village for housing, as well as prove to the newly appointed judge Azdak that the child was hers when the Governor’s wife tried to reclaim him because of the estates and finances that was inherited. The goal of the Fat Prince was please the Governor and his wife to later organizes a coup and get rid of the Governor and be in control, as well as get his nephew to be appointed as the new judge, and have the Sergeant find and kill Michael (Governor’s Child) to wipe out the previous ruling party’s bloodline. Grusha’s goal/motivations did make sense to the given play whereas the Fat Prince’s did not. Grusha goals and motivations made sense to theme of Ownership & Belonging because she had to prove her motherhood to the judge to claim that the child was hers even though the child wasn’t. The Fat Prince’s motivation/goals did not make sense to the theme of the play because his plan was to have his nephew be the new judge but fails and is beheaded which has nothing to do with neither Ownership nor Belonging.
The primary conflict between the protagonist and antagonist was the right to property and the rights to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness or Michael. Michael was the primary conflict because the Fat Prince wanted him dead and Grusha wanted him to be safe which caused the Prince to have soldiers hunt for the baby and Grusha give up the baby and then claim the baby as hers again. During the play every actor portrayed one role tremendously but throughout the whole play the best actor who portrayed all their roles the best was Victoria Reibel who of course played the main character Grusha. I would say that Victoria was the best actress because she gave us what it seemed like real emotion when she was refusing to fight over Michael because she felt that he would suffer pain. I honestly think that there was no worst actor but the actor that I felt that could have done better was Ethan Lyvers. Ethan played the role of Simon and the First Young Man. I felt that Ethan could’ve done better as his role of Simon because I really didn’t feel Simon’s presence it was like there was no love connection between the two.
The play’s set helped contribute the play’s story, theme, and characters by making it seem like their village was destroyed in which it was because this happened around the time of WWII. I felt that the set did help my understanding of the story, characters, and theme because since the story takes place around WWII the set was intended to look dirty, messy, and scattered in which it did. During the other scenes for example where Grusha had to walk across a shaky bridge it seemed real and dangerous which it was supposed to be. The play’s costumes contributed to my understanding of the play’s story, characters and theme by everyone looking like their roles. The play’s costumes did help me understand the play’s story, characters, and theme by the high-class fashion of the Governor, Governor’s wife, the Fat Prince and his nephew to the low-class basic clothes of Grusha, the Farmer and his wife, and the Servant. Also, the middle- class fashion of the Doctor’s, the Sergeant, and Azdak.
The costumes were so detailed and so to the point that I knew exactly who that person was portraying. The play’s lighting contributed to my understanding of the play’s story, characters and theme by focusing the light on the key important parts of the play. For example, when it came for the Singer to sing to the audience on what was happening during that scene the lights were centered and focused on him so that all our attention would be on him and not the other actors. In my opinion the play’s lighting helped my understanding of the story, characters, and theme. I felt that the lighting helped because during the play the lights were centered on some or all the characters to tell what the key important part of the scene was when they all spoke together looking up at the sky.
The play’s sound/score contributed to my understanding of the play’s story, characters and theme by just like the lighting but the actors singing the key important events of what happened throughout the scenes. For example, the Singer is like a narrator who tells a story of an artistic movie, poem, or song in which the Singer uses song to narrate Grusha’s adventure. The play’s sound/score helped my understanding of the story, characters, and theme by like stating before singing key important events to tell the audience what happened during the scene or what will happen later in the same scene.
In conclusion, the main theme of The Caucasian Chalk Circle is Ownership and Belonging since that most of the play revolves around Grusha and Michael during the era of WWII and ends with Grusha obtaining custody of Michael after facing major backlashes and obstacles.
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