Caucasian Chalk Circle Summary

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Grusha Vashnadze, the main character of the first half of the play, enters with a stuffed goose under her arm. She is greeted by Simon Shashava , a soldier who has guard duty outside the church. The two of them flirt for a while and Simon reveals that he often hides behind a bush and watches Grusha washing the linen so he can see her dip her legs in the river. After learning this, Grusha is embarrassed and runs off. The Fat Prince appears and makes a sign to some Ironshirts (soldiers). They disappear and within minutes the entire city is surrounded. The Governor and his family soon appear coming out of the church. He returns to his home in order to speak with some architects who are to build a new section onto his palace. The architects arrive, but they soon realize that the Fat Prince has committed a coup. They run away before they are captured. The Governor is soon led onstage in chains. The Singer, who narrates the events to follow, comments that the Governor does not need an architect, but rather "a carpenter will do." The servants soon rush out of the house as well and start to run away. Even the two doctors who attend to Michael rush out and run away. Simon returns and searches for Grusha until he sees her. He informs her that he will remain loyal to the old regime and that he will protect the Governor's wife as she flees the city. Grusha tells him he is being "pigheaded" by obeying orders instead of mutinying with the other soldiers. Simon then turns to Grusha and asks her several questions that indicate he is interested in marrying her. She replies to all of them and then anticipates his last question, telling him that her answer is yes. He ignores her answer and quickly tells her about himself before asking her for her hand. She again accepts. Simon gives Grusha a silver cross to wear as a sign of their engagement.

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