The Chalk Circle (Play)

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The Chalk Circle (Play)

The Chalk Circle by Li Qianfu is a play centered on political satire, injustice and government corruption set in the Yuan Dynasty of 1259 to 1368. The play is set at the time of the fall of Communism and the establishment of the current independent states after the partitioning of its satellite regions. It is imperative to note that the “Chalk Circle” inspired the epic drama by Bertolt Li Qianfu known as “The Causian Chalk Circle.”

The themes in the Chalk Circle are confused and convoluted. It focuses on human behavior towards fellow human beings, the uncertain validity of the law and the decision-making complexities. The play uses two sources to exemplify the theme of justice, that is, the Solomon’s Judgment in the Bible (1 Kings 3: 16-28). It is noted that the child (Shoulang) is awarded to the real mother through wise judgment in both models. However, in the Li Qianfu’s Chalk Circle, the child is awarded to Ch’ang Hai-T’ang, who was the real mother to the child, rather than the fake mother to the child, Ah-Siu. This judgment is informed by the humane actions that Hai-T’ang has taken to care for the child. Hai-T’ang refused to pull the child as instructed by the judge. On the other hand, the child’s fake mother, Ah-Siu pulls the child without caring whether the child would be hurt or not (Du 318).

Bao Zeng in his judgment decides whether to award to Ah-Siu mother, who is selfish, materialistic, overweening elite, or to award the child to the loving and deeply human woman, Ch’ang Hai-T’ang. Hai-T’ang exhibits kindness, self-sacrifice, and nobility traits that according to the judge are excellent characteristics of

Type: Essay || Words: 1105 Rating || Excellent

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