The Master and Margarita

The Master and Margarita

Levi is Yeshua Ha-Nozri’s only disciple during the Yershalaim narrative. Levi tries to shorten Yeshua’s suffering by stabbing him but can’t get close enough to the execution; once Yeshua does die, Levi cuts down his body and hides with it in a cave. He is depicted as a somewhat disheveled, crazed individual who makes Yeshua feel uncomfortable. Furthermore, Yeshua worries that Levi’s writings, which he intends to chronicle Yeshua’s life and teachings, are inaccurate. Despite these concerns, Levi is rewarded for his devotion to Yeshua by later becoming his messenger in the realm of the afterlife.

Matthew Levi Quotes in The Master and Margarita

The The Master and Margarita quotes below are all either spoken by Matthew Levi or refer to Matthew Levi. 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 29 Quotes

‘If you’ve come to see me, why didn’t you wish me a good evening, former tax collector?’ Woland said sternly.

‘Because I don’t wish you a good anything,’ the newcomer replied insolently.

‘But you’ll have to reconcile yourself to that,’ Woland objected, and a grin twisted his mouth. ‘You no sooner appear on the roof than you produce an absurdity, and I’ll tell you what it is — it’s your intonation. You uttered your words as if you don’t acknowledge shadows, or evil either. Kindly consider the question: what would your good do if evil did not exist, and what would the earth look like if shadows disappeared from it? Shadows are cast by objects and people. Here is the shadow of my sword. Trees and living beings also have shadows. Do you want to skin the whole earth, tearing all the trees and living things off it, because of your fantasy of enjoying bare light? You’re a fool.’

Related Characters: Woland (speaker), Matthew Levi (speaker)
Page Number: 360
Explanation and Analysis:
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Matthew Levi Character Timeline in The Master and Margarita

The timeline below shows where the character Matthew Levi appears in The Master and Margarita. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2. Pontius Pilate
Courage and Cowardice Theme Icon
Love and Hope Theme Icon
...temple building. He says that “the people” have wrongly interpreted his words, mostly because Matthew Levi, a devotee who follows him around, often writes down what he says “incorrectly.” (full context)
Chapter 16. The Execution
Courage and Cowardice Theme Icon
Art and Authenticity Theme Icon
Matthew Levi hides on the steep side of the mountain. Earlier he had tried to break through... (full context)
The Ambiguity of Good and Evil Theme Icon
Levi pleads with God to put Yeshua out of his misery and “send him death.” He... (full context)
The Ambiguity of Good and Evil Theme Icon
Four hours later, Yeshua is still not dead. Levi demands an “immediate miracle” from God and curses him: “You are deaf! [...] You are... (full context)
Courage and Cowardice Theme Icon
The Ambiguity of Good and Evil Theme Icon
Love and Hope Theme Icon
Soon after, only Mathew Levi is left on the hill. He makes his way to Yeshua’s post and cuts him... (full context)
Chapter 19. Margarita
Art and Authenticity Theme Icon
Love and Hope Theme Icon
...night. She came back the next day but was too late, “like the unfortunate Matthew Levi.” She has been grieving all through winter, not knowing if the master is alive or... (full context)
Chapter 26. The Burial
Courage and Cowardice Theme Icon
The Ambiguity of Good and Evil Theme Icon
...that Yeshua’s body was no longer on the hill, cut down and stolen by Matthew Levi. Some of his men, continues Aphranius, found Levi cradling the body in a cave. Though... (full context)
Courage and Cowardice Theme Icon
The Ambiguity of Good and Evil Theme Icon
Pilate says he “needed to see this Matthew Levi,” not realizing that Aphranius has brought Levi to the palace. Pilate thanks Aphranius for “everything... (full context)
Courage and Cowardice Theme Icon
The Ambiguity of Good and Evil Theme Icon
Once Aphranius is gone, Matthew Levi is brought in to see Pilate. He is muddy and disheveled, wavering on his feet.... (full context)
Courage and Cowardice Theme Icon
The Ambiguity of Good and Evil Theme Icon
Pilate orders Levi to show him the parchment scrolls on which he has written about Yeshua. Pilate can’t... (full context)
Courage and Cowardice Theme Icon
The Ambiguity of Good and Evil Theme Icon
The Danger and Absurdity of Soviet Society Theme Icon
Pilate offers Levi work in the great library at Caesarea, which Levi rejects. Pilate then offers him money,... (full context)
Courage and Cowardice Theme Icon
The Ambiguity of Good and Evil Theme Icon
Levi gets up suddenly and leans over Pilate’s table, stating that he is going to “kill... (full context)
Chapter 28. The Last Adventures of Koroviev and Behemoth
Courage and Cowardice Theme Icon
The Danger and Absurdity of Soviet Society Theme Icon
...employee is skinning a salmon with a knife “much like the knife stolen by Matthew Levi.” Without paying, Behemoth helps himself to some mandarins; a salesgirl comes over to try to... (full context)
Chapter 29. The Fate of the Master and Margarita is Decided
Courage and Cowardice Theme Icon
The Ambiguity of Good and Evil Theme Icon
Suddenly, Matthew Levi appears, saying he has come to see Woland. Woland tells Levi that he ought to... (full context)
Courage and Cowardice Theme Icon
Art and Authenticity Theme Icon
The Ambiguity of Good and Evil Theme Icon
Matthew Levi informs Woland that Yeshua Ha-Nozri has read the master’s novel and asks that Woland reward... (full context)
Courage and Cowardice Theme Icon
The Ambiguity of Good and Evil Theme Icon
Love and Hope Theme Icon
Matthew Levi adds that Yeshua’s request extends to Margarita too; Woland agrees to this as well. As... (full context)
Chapter 32. Forgiveness and Eternal Refuge
Courage and Cowardice Theme Icon
The Ambiguity of Good and Evil Theme Icon
...also hates his “immortality and his unheard-of fame,” wishing he could trade places with Matthew Levi. (full context)