› The Master and Margarita

The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

The novel alternates between two settings. The first is 1930s Moscow, which is visited by Satan in the guise of "Professor" Woland, a mysterious gentleman "magician" of uncertain origin, who arrives with a retinue that includes the grotesquely dressed "ex-choirmaster" valet Koroviev, a mischievous, gun-happy, fast-talking black cat Behemoth, the fanged hitman Azazello, the pale-faced Abadonna with a death-inflicting stare, and the witch Hella. The second setting is the Jerusalem of Pontius Pilate, described by Woland talking to Berlioz and later echoed in the pages of the Master's novel. It concerns Pontius Pilate's trial of Yeshua Ha-Notsri, his recognition of an affinity with and spiritual need for Yeshua, and his reluctant but resigned submission to Yeshua's execution.