The play is a parable inspired by the Chinese play Chalk Circle. Written at the close of World War II, the story is set in the Caucasus mountains of Georgia, and retells the tale of King Solomon and a child claimed by two mothers. A chalk circle is metaphorically drawn around a society misdirected in its priorities. Brecht's statements about class are cloaked in the innocence of a fable that whispers insistently to the audience.
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