Master’s depiction of the devil waltzes around the streets of Moscow under the guise of a foreign professor. Cunning and sly, Woland and his retinue of demonic characters creates chaos in Moscow, turning the mechanical well-ordered society into a frenzied mess, with prominent literary figures running around half-naked and directors of theatres turning into vampires. Woland is similar to his biblical counterpart in that he refuses to spare of his devilish wrath those he deems unfit of redemption. Berlioz, for example, was not saved from decapitation by means of tram car in the third chapter. He feels no pity and grants no mercy to the ignorant, the devious, and the greedy citizens of Moscow like Berlioz and Prokhor Petrovich who swears and takes advantage of unfortunate people and is therefore, punished. In contrast to his character in the bible though, Woland is the one who punishes people for acting greedy and selfish. Typically, one imagines the devil as someone who creates chaos, encourages sinfulness, and represents immorality.
Woland’s significance in the novel is the enlightener, or the one who brings to light the greed and selfishness of the Soviet citizens. He is disguised as a professor, “a specialist in black magic” (p17). He comes to Moscow to perform black magic at the Variety Theater and then “expose its machinations.” Though, he never exposes the secrets of his tricks, he does expose the greed and bourgeois nature of the Moscow citizens who flock to the performance. This relates him to the Christian version of Satan; in this version the Devil does not create evil and chaos but rather he points out mankind’s evil inclinations to God. At the performance, Woland and his entourage shower the spectators with money and fancy clothing, all of which the Moscovians snatch up immediately, thus proving their gluttony. At the end of the novel, in the chapter The Fate of the Master and Margarita is Decided, Woland speaks to Matthew Levi about the...
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