The Master and Margarita

The Master and Margarita

Margarita Character Analysis

Margarita is the heroine of the novel, a woman of around thirty years of age. Though she is married to someone else, her true love is the master, though she does not know if he is alive or dead. Margarita does not make an appearance in the book until halfway through, but her importance becomes obvious thereon in. The mistreatment of the master by critics and editors runs deep in Margarita, and, when she is turned into a witch by Azazello’s cream, she opts to destroy the apartment of Latunsky, one of the master’s harshest critics. She thus represents steely determination and faith. She is tasked with being the hostess at Satan’s (Woland’s) Ball and does so with courage and determination, believing that helping the devil might help bring the master back to her. Margarita learns that Woland’s ball is always hosted by a “Margarita,” and that she is related to French royalty, explaining why the ball’s guests address her as their Queen. Through helping Woland, Margarita is allowed to rescue the master and to live with him in eternal peace (leaving their earthly bodies behind). Many scholars believe that the character of Margarita is based on Bulgakov’s third wife, Elena Sergeevna Shilovskaya. In an astonishing case of art imitating life, The Master and Margarita was only eventually published due to Elena’s determination—similar to the way Margarita steadfastly supports the master’s Pontius Pilate novel.

Margarita Quotes in The Master and Margarita

The The Master and Margarita quotes below are all either spoken by Margarita or refer to Margarita. 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:
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). 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 13 Quotes

He suddenly wiped an unexpected tear with his right sleeve and continued: ‘Love leaped out in front of us like a murderer in an alley leaping out of nowhere, and struck us both at once. As lightning strikes, as a Finnish knife strikes! She, by the way, insisted afterwards that it wasn’t so, that we had, of course, loved each other for a long, long time, without knowing each other, never having seen each other, and that she was living with a different man ... as I was, too, then ... with that, what’s her ...’

Page Number: 140-141
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 19 Quotes

Follow me, reader! Who told you that there is no true, faithful, eternal love in this world! May the liar’s vile tongue be cut out!

Follow me, my reader, and me alone, and I will show you such a love!

No! The master was mistaken when with bitterness he told Ivanushka in the hospital, at that hour when the night was falling past midnight, that she had forgotten him. That could not be. She had, of course, not forgotten him.

First of all let us reveal the secret which the master did not wish to reveal to Ivanushka. His beloved’s name was Margarita Nikolaevna.

Page Number: 217
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 21 Quotes

Naked and invisible, the lady flier tried to control and talk sense into herself; her hands trembled with impatience. Taking careful aim, Margarita struck at the keys of the grand piano, and a first plaintive wail passed all through the apartment. Becker’s drawing-room instrument, not guilty of anything, cried out frenziedly. Its keys caved in, ivory veneer flew in all directions. The instrument howled, wailed, rasped and jangled. With the noise of a pistol shot, the polished upper soundboard split under a hammer blow. Breathing hard, Margarita tore and mangled the strings with the hammer. Finally getting tired, she left off and flopped into an armchair to catch her breath.

Related Characters: Margarita, The Master, Latunsky
Page Number: 237-238
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 22 Quotes

‘No,’ replied Margarita, ‘most of all I’m struck that there’s room for all this.’ She made a gesture with her hand, emphasizing the enormousness of the hall.

Koroviev grinned sweetly, which made the shadows stir in the folds of his nose.

‘The most uncomplicated thing of all!’ he replied. ‘For someone well acquainted with the fifth dimension, it costs nothing to expand space to the desired proportions. I’ll say more, respected lady - to devil knows what proportions!

Related Characters: Margarita (speaker), Koroviev
Page Number: 250
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 23 Quotes

‘Mikhail Alexandrovich,’ Woland addressed the head in a low voice, and then the slain man’s eyelids rose, and on the dead face Margarita saw, with a shudder, living eyes filled with thought and suffering.

‘Everything came to pass, did it not?’ Woland went on, looking into the head’s eyes. ‘The head was cut off by a woman, the meeting did not take place, and I am living in your apartment. That is a fact. And fact is the most stubborn thing in the world. But we are now interested in what follows, and not in this already accomplished fact. You have always been an ardent preacher of the theory that, on the cutting off of his head, life ceases in a man, he turns to ashes and goes into non-being. I have the pleasure of informing you, in the presence of my guests, though they serve as proof of quite a different theory, that your theory is both solid and clever.

However, one theory is as good as another. There is also one which holds that it will be given to each according to his faith. Let it come true! You go into non-being, and from the cup into which you are to be transformed, I will joyfully drink to being!’

Woland raised his sword. Straight away the flesh of the head turned dark and shrivelled, then fell off in pieces, the eyes disappeared, and soon Margarita saw on the platter a yellowish skull with emerald eyes, pearl teeth and a golden foot. The lid opened on a hinge.

Related Characters: Woland (speaker), Margarita, Mikhael Alexandrovich Berlioz
Page Number: 273
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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Chapter 32 Quotes

‘Listen to the stillness,’ Margarita said to the master, and the sand rustled under her bare feet, ‘listen and enjoy what you were not given in life — peace. Look, there ahead is your eternal home, which you have been given as a reward. I can already see the Venetian window and the twisting vine, it climbs right up to the roof. Here is your home, your eternal home. I know that in the evenings you will be visited by those you love, those who interest you and who will never trouble you. They will play for you, they will sing for you, you will see what light is in the room when the candles are burning. You will fall asleep, having put on your greasy and eternal nightcap, you will fall asleep with a smile on your lips. Sleep will strengthen you, you will reason wisely. And you will no longer be able to drive me away. I will watch over your sleep.’

Thus spoke Margarita, walking with the master to their eternal home, and it seemed to the master that Margarita’s words flowed in the same way as the stream they had left behind flowed and whispered, and the master’s memory, the master’s anxious, needled memory began to fade. Someone was setting the master free, as he himself had just set free the hero he had created. This hero had gone into the abyss, gone irrevocably, the son of the astrologer-king, forgiven on the eve of Sunday, the cruel fifth procurator of Judea, the equestrian Pontius Pilate.

Related Characters: Margarita (speaker), The Master, Pontius Pilate
Related Symbols: The Moon/Moonlight
Page Number: 384
Explanation and Analysis:
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Margarita Character Timeline in The Master and Margarita

The timeline below shows where the character Margarita appears in The Master and Margarita. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 13. The Hero Enters
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...during his breaks from writing. On one of these, he astonished by the sight of a woman carrying “repulsive” yellow flowers, “struck not so much by her beauty as by an extraordinary... (full context)
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...nowhere, and struck us both at once. As lightning strikes, as a Finnish knife strikes!” The woman later told him that she would have poisoned herself that day, if it wasn’t for... (full context)
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The master and his lover spent all the time they could together. The woman was very supportive of his writing,... (full context)
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...“Pilatism.” Then the critic Latunsky published an even harsher piece titled “A Militant Old Believer.” His lover had rushed in, kissing him and promising to poison Latunsky. (full context)
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...say, and that their rage sprang precisely from that.” Over time, he grew mentally ill. His lover was distraught too, insisting that the master take a trip south to recover. The master... (full context)
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...the novel in the fire, along with any relevant sketches in his notebooks. Just then, his lover came in. She held him, trembling, promising to save and cure the “sick” man. She... (full context)
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...opened clinic and begged for help. Now, he is too afraid to try to contact his lover , fearing the heartbreak that would overcome her from believing that he is mad. Despite... (full context)
Chapter 19. Margarita
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...will show you such a love!” The narrator then reveals that the master’s lover is Margarita, and that the master is completely wrong to think she has forgotten him. (full context)
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Margarita is a beautiful, intelligent woman and thirty years old. She is childless and married, though... (full context)
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Margarita is angry that she left the master on that fateful night. She came back the... (full context)
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On waking, Margarita feels her spirits lift; she has had a dream of the master, which she takes... (full context)
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With her husband away on business, Margarita goes into one of the rooms in their house and opens up a drawer, hidden... (full context)
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Putting these possessions away, Margarita decides to go for a walk. On her way out, she has a discussion with... (full context)
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Margarita leaves, taking a “trolley-bus” on which she overhears two strangers talking about a “scandal” involving... (full context)
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Margarita notices a funeral procession going by. Wondering who it’s for, her thought is suddenly answer... (full context)
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Margarita, assuming there to be many writers among the mourners, asks the Azazello if “Latunsky” is... (full context)
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Azazello admits that he is there to speak to Margarita about some “business.” He explains that “a very distinguished foreigner” would like her company that... (full context)
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Margarita demands to know the redheaded man’s identity; he reluctantly explains that his name is Azazello.... (full context)
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Azazello gives Margarita a golden box containing an ointment, instructing her to cover herself with it at “exactly... (full context)
Chapter 20. Azazello’s Cream
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That night, Margarita sits in the bedroom, waiting for it turn half past nine, staring at the box... (full context)
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When she looks in the mirror, Margarita is amazed. She is suddenly youthful, looking about twenty years old. On top of that,... (full context)
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Margarita writes a note for her husband, which asks for his forgiveness and explains that she... (full context)
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Natasha comes in, astonished at Margarita’s changed appearance. “It’s the cream!” exclaims Margarita. Natasha hugs Margarita, amazed at her glowing skin.... (full context)
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Margarita sits in the windowsill, lit by moonlight. She hears her neighbor, Nikolai Ivanovich, park his... (full context)
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A broom flies into the bedroom, which Margarita jumps astride. Delightedly, she flies out of the window, grabbing something to wear. As soon... (full context)
Chapter 21. Flight
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Margarita gets the hang of flying the broom, relishing the sense of freedom that comes with... (full context)
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“Latunsky,” shrieks Margarita, “he’s the one who ruined the master!” She flies through an open window into his... (full context)
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As neighbors from below rush up to Latunsky’s apartment, Margarita flies out of the window. She smashes the windows of the other apartments, causing panic... (full context)
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Margarita flies away from the city, climbing higher and higher. She zooms past entire towns, before... (full context)
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...anything!” Jabbing the hog, Natasha reveals it to be Nikolai Ivanovich, the neighbor. Heading to Margarita’s room to return her falling clothing, Nikolai, amazed at Natasha’s sudden youthfulness, had propositioned Natasha... (full context)
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As they fly over the forest down below, Margarita promises to do whatever she can to help Natasha stay as a witch. Margarita lands... (full context)
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Margarita notices a party on the opposite bank and heads over. A march is being played... (full context)
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The “goat-legged one” asks why Margarita travelled by broom, saying that it’s an “inconvenient” way to travel. Making a telephone out... (full context)
Chapter 22. By Candlelight
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The rook drives Margarita through the sky as she contemplates her life, “fearless” with the “hope that she would... (full context)
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Margarita, on her broom, and Azazello, on a rapier, fly to the apartment on Sadovaya Street.... (full context)
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Margarita and Azazello go in and climb an impossibly long staircase in darkness. Koroviev meets them... (full context)
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...they make small talk about Moscow apartments, Koroviev moves on to their “business” that night. Margarita confirms that she has guessed who is the “host” of the evening. Koroviev explains that... (full context)
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Tradition has it, says Koroviev, that the hostess is always called Margarita, and she must be from the place where they hold the ball. They selected her... (full context)
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Koroviev leads Margarita down a corridor, talking of the “magnificent” ball to come, adding that it will be... (full context)
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Margarita and Koroviev enter a small room, in which there is a candelabrum “with sockets in... (full context)
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In the candlelight Margarita sees Woland reclining on the bed, staring at her. She notices one eye “with a... (full context)
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Woland greets Margarita, asking her to excuse his “homely attire.” He places his hand, “heavy as if made... (full context)
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Hella leaves the room; Margarita takes over with the ointment. Woland says that his “attendants” insist that his knee trouble... (full context)
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Woland shows Margarita his globe, which sits on a nearby table. It seems to show an up-to-date depiction... (full context)
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On Woland’s invitation, Margarita looks closer at the globe. She sees a house get destroyed, and “a small female... (full context)
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Woland makes Abaddon appear; he is a gaunt man wearing glasses. Margarita asks if he can take his glasses off, which Woland says is impossible. Just then,... (full context)
Chapter 23. The Great Ball at Satan’s
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Woland’s entourage prepares Margarita for the ball: Hella douses her in blood and rose oil and Behemoth rubs her... (full context)
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With Margarita ready, Behemoth shouts “The ball!!!” Arm in arm with Koroviev, she is transported first briefly... (full context)
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Margarita moves into the next room. Here, fountains spurt out jets of champagne as a jazz... (full context)
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...guests, who start walking up the stairs. All of the guests that arrive and greet Margarita have committed some kind of terrible crime when they were alive, including Madam Tofana, who... (full context)
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Margarita then meets a woman called Frieda, who is carrying a handkerchief. Koroviev explains that she... (full context)
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...great numbers, with the women naked except for ornate headdresses and the men wearing tailcoats. Margarita grows exhausted, mentally and physically, from greeting so many macabre guests one after the other.  (full context)
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...stream of guests starts to slow. When the last few, including two vampires, have arrived, Margarita is transported back to the room in which she had prepared for the ball. Hella... (full context)
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Back at the ball, Margarita sees that the musicians have all been turned into various animals, such as orangutans and... (full context)
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Koroviev tells Margarita that she has one last “appearance” to make. She climbs onto a platform in the... (full context)
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...Woland raises a toast to everyone present, takes a sip, and passes the cup to Margarita. She too drinks the blood. Suddenly the entire ball melts away as a voice tells... (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,... (full context)
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Margarita, feeling revived, asks whether Azazello shot Baron Meigel. He did, he replies, and boasts about... (full context)
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Margarita feels like it’s time for her to leave and is newly embarrassed by her nakedness.... (full context)
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Woland asks Margarita to make a wish. She asks for Frieda, one of the ball guests, to be... (full context)
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Margarita gets up to leave, but Woland insists that she demand something for herself. Without hesitation,... (full context)
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Margarita flings herself at the master, kissing his face tearfully. The master is extremely disorientated, believing... (full context)
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...says he has come “from the house of sorrows” and that he is “mentally ill.” Margarita begs Woland to “cure” the master. The master explains to Woland that his fellow patient... (full context)
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When Woland asks why Margarita calls him “the master,” the master tells Woland about his Pontius Pilate novel. Woland bursts... (full context)
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Margarita rushes to Woland, calling him “all-powerful!” The master clutches the novel, lapsing into “anxiety and... (full context)
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Margarita requests that she and the master be returned to “the basement in the lane off... (full context)
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Azazello makes Aloisy Mogarych, the current occupier of the master and Margarita’s old flat, suddenly appear. Azazello accuses Aloisy, who is in his underwear and clutching a... (full context)
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...no person,” Koroviev agrees, and grants the master his own papers and the savings that Margarita has been looking after. (full context)
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Woland asks Margarita what she would like to do with Natasha. Natasha comes in and begs to remain... (full context)
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...which Azazello grants. Woland instructs his entourage to leave him alone with the master and Margarita. The master denounces his novel, but Woland insists that it will still bring him “surprises.”... (full context)
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Woland gives Margarita a memento: “a small golden horseshoe studded with diamonds.” Woland wishes Margarita and the master... (full context)
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Just as Margarita is about to get in to the car, she realizes that she’s lost the horseshoe.... (full context)
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...Ivanovich, and Varenukha. She then witnessed Woland leave with his entourage, alongside the master and Margarita. Annushka found the jeweled horseshoe on the floor and stole it. (full context)
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Azazello tells Margarita and the master to wait for a moment. He finds Annushka and snatches the horseshoe... (full context)
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The rook delivers the master and Margarita to the basement flat in the Arbat district. Everything there is the same as it... (full context)
Chapter 25. How the Procurator Tried to Save Judas of Kiriath
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The narrative returns to Yershalaim, beginning with the sentence read by Margarita at the end of the previous chapter. As the storm rages on, lightning intermittently illuminates... (full context)
Chapter 27. The End of Apartment no. 50
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By the time Margarita finishes the chapter of the master’s novel, it is dawn. She feels a deep sense... (full context)
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...is told to his wife. Spurred on by his testimony, the investigators discover that both Margarita and her housekeeper are missing. (full context)
Chapter 29. The Fate of the Master and Margarita is Decided
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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... (full context)
Chapter 30. It’s Time! It’s Time!
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Margarita, still naked except for the black cloak given to her by Woland, and the master,... (full context)
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The master briefly tries to convince Margarita to return to her own life and not to ruin it “with a sick man.”... (full context)
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Just then, Azazello arrives, greeting the master and Margarita with “peace be unto you.” Margarita is delighted to see him. As Margarita pours Azazello... (full context)
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...the same wine that Pontius Pilate drank. They drink a toast to Woland’s health. Immediately, Margarita collapses; as the master too feels his consciousness slide away, he cries out, “poisoner.” (full context)
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As the master and Margarita lie poisoned on the floor, Azazello transports himself to Margarita’s old house. Amazingly, Margarita is... (full context)
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Azazello returns to the master and Margarita’s basement flat, where he revives Margarita with a few drops from the same wine. The... (full context)
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The master realizes that he and Margarita are dead, calling it in “intelligent” and “timely.” Azazello says they’re not dead, and asks... (full context)
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As they prepare to fly away, Margarita tells the master to bring his novel with them. He says there is no need—he... (full context)
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The master, Margarita, and Azazello soar over Moscow on horseback as the storm gets going. The master shouts... (full context)
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The master and Margarita go into the clinic while Azazello waits outside. They find Ivan’s room and go in;... (full context)
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Ivan asks if the master found Margarita, and if she remained faithful to him. The master introduces her, and Ivan admires her... (full context)
Chapter 31. On Sparrow Hills
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...storm is swept away without a trace and a rainbow appears over Moscow. The master, Margarita, and Azazello join up with Woland, Koroviev, and Behemoth, who are also sitting on black... (full context)
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Woland instructs the master and Margarita to bid goodbye to Moscow. The master runs to the edge of the hillside and... (full context)
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Woland shouts “it’s time!” as the group rides up into the evening sky. Margarita looks behind her to see that the city has disappeared—"only mist and smoke were left." (full context)
Chapter 32. Forgiveness and Eternal Refuge
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The night draws on as the riders soar through the sky, growing weary. Margarita looks at her travelling companions and notices that they have been transformed back to their... (full context)
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Koroviev is now a “dark-violet knight.” Woland explains to Margarita that Koroviev once made a bad joke about “light and darkness” and has only just... (full context)
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The riders land on a moonlit platform. Margarita can see an armchair in which sits a “white figure,” seemingly oblivious to their arrival.... (full context)
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Margarita screams at Woland to let Pilate go. Woland laughs, causes stones to tumble down the... (full context)
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The master and Margarita walk down a path pointed at by Woland and bid him farewell. Woland and his... (full context)
Epilogue
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...moon. As a river of moonlight spreads in all directions, Ivan encounters the master and Margarita. Ivan asks if “it ended with that?” The master confirms that “it ended with that,... (full context)