The Master and Margarita

The Master and Margarita

Behemoth Character Analysis

Behemoth is huge black cat who can do everything that a human can do, including talking and walking on his hind legs. He is the most devilish of Woland’s crew and delights in causing havoc. He also has a penchant for setting things on fire, destroying the Sadovaya street apartment block and Griboedev’s towards the end of the novel. His true form is revealed at the end as “a slim youth … the best jester the world has ever seen.”

Behemoth Quotes in The Master and Margarita

The The Master and Margarita quotes below are all either spoken by Behemoth or refer to Behemoth. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Courage and Cowardice Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Random House edition of The Master and Margarita published in 1965.
Chapter 17 Quotes

At a huge writing desk with a massive inkstand an empty suit sat and with a dry pen, not dipped in ink, traced on a piece of paper. The suit was wearing a necktie, a fountain pen stuck from its pocket, but above the collar there was neither neck nor head, just as there were no hands sticking out of the sleeves. The suit was immersed in work and completely ignored the turmoil that reigned around it. Hearing someone come in, the suit leaned back and from above the collar came the voice, quite familiar to the bookkeeper, of Prokhor Petrovich:

‘What is this? Isn’t it written on the door that I’m not receiving?’

The beautiful secretary shrieked and, wringing her hands, cried out: ‘You see? You see?! He’s not there! He’s not! Bring him back, bring

him back!’

Here someone peeked in the door of the office, gasped, and flew out. The bookkeeper felt his legs trembling and sat on the edge of a chair,

but did not forget to pick up his briefcase. Anna Richardovna hopped around the bookkeeper, worrying his jacket, and exclaiming:

‘I always, always stopped him when he swore by the devil! So now the devil’s got him!’

Related Symbols: Briefcases
Page Number: 188
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 24 Quotes

‘But tell me, why does Margarita call you a master?’ asked Woland. The man smiled and said:

‘That is an excusable weakness. She has too high an opinion of a novel

I wrote.’

‘What is this novel about?’

‘It is a novel about Pontius Pilate.’ Here again the tongues of the candles swayed and leaped, the dishes on the table clattered, Woland burst into thunderous laughter, but neither frightened nor surprised anyone. Behemoth applauded for some reason.

‘About what? About what? About whom?’ said Woland, ceasing to laugh.

‘And that - now? It’s stupendous! Couldn’t you have found some other subject? Let me see it.’ Woland held out his hand, palm up.

‘Unfortunately, I cannot do that,’ replied the master, ‘because I burned it in the stove.’

‘Forgive me, but I don’t believe you,’ Woland replied, ‘that cannot be: manuscripts don’t burn.’ He turned to Behemoth and said, ‘Come on. Behemoth, let’s have the novel.’

The cat instantly jumped off the chair, and everyone saw that he had been sitting on a thick stack of manuscripts. With a bow, the cat gave the top copy to Woland. Margarita trembled and cried out, again shaken to the point of tears:

‘It’s here, the manuscript! It’s here!’ She dashed to Woland and added in admiration:

‘All-powerful! All-powerful!’

Related Characters: Woland (speaker), Margarita (speaker), The Master (speaker), Pontius Pilate, Behemoth
Page Number: 286-287
Explanation and Analysis:
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Behemoth Character Timeline in The Master and Margarita

The timeline below shows where the character Behemoth appears in The Master and Margarita. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4. The Chase
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...the two men suddenly far off in the distance. They appear to be joined by a big black cat , as “huge as a hog,” walking on his hind legs. Ivan gives chase. As... (full context)
Chapter 7. A Naughty Apartment
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...mirror, he notices a tall man (Koroviev) wearing a pince-nez that seems to disappear suddenly—and a black cat . (full context)
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Styopa calls out to Grunya to ask what the black cat and the tall man are doing in the apartment. Woland responds, saying they are with... (full context)
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Suddenly the cat shouts “Scat!” Styopa feels a knock on the head and loses consciousness, thinking that perhaps... (full context)
Chapter 8. The Combat Between the Professor and the Poet
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...goes on to talk about his attempts to chase the strange group of characters, mentioning the cat who “rides the tram all by himself.” He reiterates that the professor was “personally on... (full context)
Chapter 9. Koroviev’s Stunts
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Nikanor demands to see the foreigner, but Koroviev objects that he is currently training the cat ; Koroviev offers to show Nikanor the cat, “if you like.” The officious Nikanor states... (full context)
Chapter 10. News from Yalta
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...toilet has had its light fixture repaired. Just then, he is accosted by a “ cat-like fat man ” and a man with red hair and a fang (Koroviev). They beat him up,... (full context)
Chapter 11. Ivan Splits in Two
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...and how calmly he looks on what happened, even the most terrifying parts—Berlioz’s severed head, the demonic cat , and so on. Ivan feels one part of himself letting go of the situation,... (full context)
Chapter 12. Black Magic and Its Exposure
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...sitting with his two companions: “a long checkered one with a cracked pince-nez, and a fat black cat .” Koroviev dazzles Rimsky by making Rimsky’s gold watch appear behind the cat’s ear. To... (full context)
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The audience welcomes Woland to the stage with Koroviev and the black cat . Woland, addressing Koroviev as “Fagott,” suggests that “the Moscow populace has change significantly.” “Koroviev-Fagott”... (full context)
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...important question is “have the city folk change inwardly?” Sensing the audience’s boredom, Koroviev and the cat perform some impressive tricks with a deck of cards, sending it through the air “in... (full context)
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...asks the crowd what he should to do Bengalsky, who suggest tearing his head off. The cat jumps up in a ball of fur and tears Bengalsky’s head from its neck. Koroviev... (full context)
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...lies “suddenly empty”: Koroviev-Fagott and the cat, who the narrator now reveals to be called Behemoth, have already melted into thin air. (full context)
Chapter 17. An Unquiet Day
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Anna Richardovna explains to Vassily what happened. Apparently, the office was visited by a black cat —as big as a “behemoth”—who barged into Prokhor’s room. Prokhor had exclaimed, “get him out... (full context)
Chapter 18. Hapless Visitors
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...Poplavsky is let in, but it’s unclear who by—all he can see is an “ enormous black cat ” sitting on a chair. Koroviev comes into the hall from the study. Learning that... (full context)
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...it could not have been Berlioz posthumously. Koroviev points to the cat, saying “he did!” Behemoth admits sending the telegram, asking “what of it?” Poplavsky can’t believe he’s talking to a... (full context)
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Behemoth looks at the passport, insults Poplavsky and rescinds his invitation to Berlioz’s funeral. He summons... (full context)
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...his confusion. Descending the stairs, Andrei’s hat doesn’t quite feel right; suddenly it turns into a black kitten that scratches his head, before going back up to no. 50. (full context)
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...into wine bottle labels. He complains to his secretary before returning his room to find a black kitten on his desk where the labels were, drinking from a saucer of milk. (full context)
Chapter 22. By Candlelight
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...The naked Hella sits on the floor, stirring a pot of “sulphurous steam.” Hella and Behemoth, who is playing chess, pause to bow to Margarita. (full context)
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...on Margarita’s shoulder. He shouts to someone under the bed, which turns out to be Behemoth, looking for his knight chess piece. When Behemoth reveals himself, he is dressed with a... (full context)
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Woland introduces Margarita to his retinue: Behemoth, Azazello, Koroviev, and Hella, who is rubbing his knee with ointment. Behemoth analyses his position... (full context)
Chapter 23. The Great Ball at Satan’s
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...entourage prepares Margarita for the ball: Hella douses her in blood and rose oil and Behemoth rubs her feet; Koroviev hangs an “oval-framed picture of a black poodle” around her neck.... (full context)
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With Margarita ready, Behemoth shouts “The ball!!!” Arm in arm with Koroviev, she is transported first briefly to a... (full context)
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...Margarita takes position at the top of a huge, carpeted staircase, with Azazello, Koroviev and Behemoth beside her. Margarita notices an “enormous fireplace” in the distance. (full context)
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...keeps reappearing on her bedside table. Margarita asks the whereabouts of the child’s father. When Behemoth interjects that “it wasn’t he who smothered the infant,” Margarita pinches his ear and scolds... (full context)
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...that the musicians have all been turned into various animals, such as orangutans and mandrills. Behemoth performs a magic trick by turning champagne, spewing from a huge fountain, into cognac. (full context)
Chapter 24. The Extraction of the Master
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Margarita finds herself back in Woland’s bedroom with Woland and his entourage. Behemoth pours her drink, which restores a “living warmth” through her body. Suddenly hungry, Margarita gobbles... (full context)
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...is hidden by a pillow and Azazello fires the gun over his shoulder without looking. Behemoth tries to show his shooting skill, too, but, perhaps deliberately, kills the sleeping owl on... (full context)
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...ago. Woland objects that this is impossible, stating that “manuscripts don’t burn.” On Woland’s request, Behemoth holds up the master’s novel, which it appears he has been sitting on. (full context)
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...Then Nikolai Ivanovich appears, returned to human form. Woland dismisses him “with special pleasure,” after Behemoth and Hella type an “official document” certifying that Nikolai spent the night at Satan’s ball. (full context)
Chapter 27. The End of Apartment no. 50
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...Apparently, singing and the sounds of piano have been heard coming from its windows, and a black cat has been seen basking in the sun on the windowsill. (full context)
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...that, furthermore, “the cat is an ancient and inviolable animal.” The men try to ensnare Behemoth in a net but he is too quick for them. (full context)
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A gunfight ensues between Behemoth and the investigators. Behemoth relishes the excitement; despite many shots being fired, miraculously no-one is... (full context)
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Behemoth sets fire to the apartment and climbs out onto the roof. The investigators flee the... (full context)
Chapter 28. The Last Adventures of Koroviev and Behemoth
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Behemoth and Koroviev visit a currency store. When the doorman tells them that cats aren’t allowed... (full context)
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Behemoth and Koroviev go past expensive fabrics and shoes to the grocery section. An employee is... (full context)
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...salesgirl calls for the manager, who in turns calls for the doorman. As they surround Behemoth and Koroviev, the latter appeals to the gathering onlookers on Behemoth’s behalf, saying “the poor... (full context)
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As the shop descends into chaos, Behemoth sets fire to the counter. The narrator then says that, according to later unconfirmed reports,... (full context)
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Standing outside Griboedov’s, Behemoth and Koroviev talk sarcastically about the idea that someone in there is writing the next... (full context)
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...do you know what plots are swarming in my head?” The hostess asks Koroviev and Behemoth to step aside to let one of the writers go past. Just then, the restaurant... (full context)
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Archibald shows Koroviev and Behemoth to the best table on the verandah and ensures that the staff wait on them... (full context)
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As Archibald goes to fetch the restaurant’s two finest fish fillets for Koroviev and Behemoth, two diners at a nearby table discuss the rumor that the recent trouble-makers in Moscow... (full context)
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Koroviev and Behemoth disappear, sending the restaurant up in flames. The fire quickly spreads to the entirety of... (full context)
Chapter 29. The Fate of the Master and Margarita is Decided
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...prefers Rome. They notice Griboedov’s burning down below, assuming it to be the work of Behemoth and Koroviev.  (full context)
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Behemoth and Koroviev arrive, telling Woland that Griboedev’s has been “reduced to ashes.” Behemoth is holding... (full context)
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Behemoth and Koroviev say that they await Woland’s orders, but he tells them there are none:... (full context)
Chapter 31. On Sparrow Hills
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...rainbow appears over Moscow. The master, Margarita, and Azazello join up with Woland, Koroviev, and Behemoth, who are also sitting on black horses. (full context)
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Just for fun, Behemoth whistles, making the horses rear up and birds spring from the trees below. On a... (full context)
Chapter 32. Forgiveness and Eternal Refuge
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...made a bad joke about “light and darkness” and has only just paid his debt. Behemoth’s true form is that of “a slim youth […] the best jester the world has... (full context)