Chapter 29

The Fate of the Master and Margarita is Determined

[Sud'ba Mastera i Margarity opredelena]

One of the most beautiful buildings in Moscow

shacks condemned: Possibly Woland is looking towards the building site of the Church of Christ the Savior.

I prefer Rome: Azazello's line may be connected with the theory of Moscow as the "Third Rome" (Rome was the first, Constantinople the second, Moscow--as the protector of Orthodoxy--the third). The view of burning Moscow reminds the reader of Rome burning under Nero in 64 AD. (In another connection with the Church of Christ the Savior, all Moscow did burn under Napoleon. Bulgakov originally planned for this to happen in his novel as well.)

He has not earned light, he has earned peace. Scholars disagree about the significance of the Master's fate. Some consider that the Master's fate is less than light because he does not persevere in his writing, he loses faith in himself. Others think peace for a creative writer may be no less a fate than light. Certainly Woland seems to disdain the naked light.