The Master and Margarita

The Master and Margarita

The Master and Margarita Chapter 29 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
It’s now sunset—Azazello and Woland sit on a stone terrace overlooking Moscow. Woland ask “such an interesting city, is it not?” Azazello replies that he prefers Rome. They notice Griboedov’s burning down below, assuming it to be the work of Behemoth and Koroviev
Azazello and Woland’s discussion underscores the universality of the latter’s powers.
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Suddenly, Matthew Levi appears, saying he has come to see Woland. Woland tells Levi that he ought to wish him a good evening, but Matthew responds that he doesn’t wish him a “good anything.” Woland tells Levi that he is being absurd because he doesn’t acknowledge “shadows, or evil either.” Good and evil depend on one another, continues Woland.
This is a key exchange in the novel’s overall argument that evil can’t just be ignored away. Instead, it is part of a continuum with “good” that gives morality its meaning, reflecting the complexity of life itself. Levi, in his unflinching loyalty to Yeshua, wants to live in an impossible world that is only “good.” This moment represents the first proper meeting point between the two distinct narratives and shows that Matthew Levi was rewarded for his devotion with the chance to serve Yeshua eternally.
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Related Quotes
Matthew Levi informs Woland that Yeshua Ha-Nozri has read the master’s novel and asks that Woland reward the master with peace. “Is that hard for you to do, spirit of evil?” asks Matthew Levi. Woland asks why the master isn’t being taken “into the light”; Levi replies that “he does not deserve the light, he deserves peace. Woland agrees to make it happen and asks Levi to leave.
This exchange is interesting because it suggests that Woland and Yeshua are not enemies, standing at the opposite poles of morality. Woland seems to respect Yeshua, even obey him as a kind of authority. The reader knows from Yeshua’s comments on Levi from chapter 2 that the latter man is fervently loyal, perhaps explaining his simplistic hatred for Woland. Yeshua’s instruction regarding the master’s fate is much debated. It could be interpreted that the master doesn’t deserve “light” because he no longer wants to practice his art; alternatively, “peace” seems to be exactly what the master wants, so perhaps it is ample reward in and of itself.
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Matthew Levi adds that Yeshua’s request extends to Margarita too; Woland agrees to this as well. As Matthew Levi disappears, Woland instructs Azazello to “fly to them and arrange it all.”
Both Yeshua and Woland respect the love between the master and Margarita, and the sacrifices that the latter has made on its behalf.
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Behemoth and Koroviev arrive, telling Woland that Griboedev’s has been “reduced to ashes.” Behemoth is holding a picture looted from one of the rooms under one arm, and a salmon under the other.
Behemoth is an opportunist and a trickster—and with his cattish nature, can’t resist a high-grade fish from Griboedov’s as a memento of his visit.
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Behemoth and Koroviev say that they await Woland’s orders, but he tells them there are none: “you have fulfilled all you could, and for the moment I no longer need your services. You may rest. Right now a storm is coming, the last storm, it will complete all that needs completing, and we’ll be on our way.” Behemoth and Koroviev disappear as a great storm gathers on the horizon.
Like the master and Margarita, Behemoth and Koroviev are granted “rest,” implying that their services to Woland were not simply as willing sidekicks but as some kind of penance to his authority. The idea of “all that needs to be done will be done” recurs throughout the final chapters, heralding the book’s end.
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