Satire on Capitalism in Bertold Brecht’s Caucasian Chalk Circle


In the Caucasian Chalk Circle, Brecht employs satire to lambast rigid convention and conventional legal system. In the Prologue, two groups of peasants are disputing over the ownership of a piece of land. The dispute is settled shockingly. The original owners of the land relinquish their possession because the other group can make a better use of the land. The decision is ridiculous and cannot be accepted in capitalist country. But Brecht is clever enough to subdue the feeling of disappointment of the spectators. He employs satiric humor to make unnatural decision felt natural. The wedding of Grusha, the protagonist of the play, and a dying man evokes our laughter but the intention is to criticize and scorn capitalist religion. Satire continues when Azdak is made judge. He coins his verdicts in contradictory to conventional legal system. Victims of crime are punished and fined while the perpetrators are set free. The analysis applies qualitative research method as generated by Koul (1984), and Herbert (1990). The results indicate that Azdak’s verdicts give rise to audience’s laughters, and they deliberately impress the audience.


Keywords: capitalist, communist, criticize, legal, satire, verdicts

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