Master and Margarita Question #8: Woland

by Mikhail Bulgakov

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Re: Master and Margarita Question #8: Woland

Unread postby nebraska » Wed Sep 19, 2012 4:17 pm

To me the fires didn't really fit with the rest of their behavior, so I wonder about them as well, Liz. Fire adds to the conventional picture of Woland as devil, but I don't know why else they would have been added.

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Re: Master and Margarita Question #8: Woland

Unread postby RamblinRebel » Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:50 pm

That's interesting about the fires. For some reason they didn't bother me too much, I guess because I came away with the impression that everyone escaped unharmed. Maybe I need to reread that section.
Liz wrote:Let me throw in a possible theory on Berlioz. I was never sold that Woland killed him. He knew it would happen. But that doesn't mean he caused it. I think he was trying to make a point about predestination and how Berlioz (or man) was not in charge. And he knew he could make this point because he knew it was going to happen.
You know, in the beginning of the book I remember asking myself, "ok, did he cause that or did he just know?" and somewhere along the line my thinking changed to "he caused it". But I think you're right, Liz, he probably just knew, which really makes a lot more sense and is more in keeping with the character.

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Re: Master and Margarita Question #8: Woland

Unread postby Buster » Sat Sep 22, 2012 6:44 pm

did he cause that or did he just know?"

I think he just knew, but I also believe that it didn't really matter to him if he caused Berlioz' death or not. He was making a point, and Berlioz was expendable. As some of his later tricks show, "reality" is pretty mutable.

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Re: Master and Margarita Question #8: Woland

Unread postby nebraska » Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:09 pm

While I was away over the weekend I read the essay I mentioned about the Gnostic Devil. While I won't go into the whole thing here (I probably didn't truly "get" the whole thing anyway, because a portion of the essay detailed the connection between the Master and Margarita and Faust) I did find an interesting train of thought about the role of the devil in the Bible and how it relates to Woland. In the Old Testament the devil is seen as a tempter of man -- a figure who harasses humans -- but is still seen as a fallen angel and remains in the service of God. In the New Testament the devil changes from an opponent of man to an opponent of God Himself, becoming the evil that explains its opposite which is the goodness of God. The theory of the essay is that Woland is more of an Old Testament devil -- a mocker, teaser, a tempter -- and still in the service of God in his own way. Seen this way, the character of Woland made more sense to me.
If anyone is interested in reading the entire article, here is the link. It might help if you speak German :biggrin: since some of the passages relating to Faust are not in English.

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Re: Master and Margarita Question #8: Woland

Unread postby fireflydances » Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:23 pm

nebraska wrote:While I was away over the weekend I read the essay I mentioned about the Gnostic Devil. While I won't go into the whole thing here (I probably didn't truly "get" the whole thing anyway, because a portion of the essay detailed the connection between the Master and Margarita and Faust) I did find an interesting train of thought about the role of the devil in the Bible and how it relates to Woland. In the Old Testament the devil is seen as a tempter of man -- a figure who harasses humans -- but is still seen as a fallen angel and remains in the service of God. In the New Testament the devil changes from an opponent of man to an opponent of God Himself, becoming the evil that explains its opposite which is the goodness of God. The theory of the essay is that Woland is more of an Old Testament devil -- a mocker, teaser, a tempter -- and still in the service of God in his own way. Seen this way, the character of Woland made more sense to me.
If anyone is interested in reading the entire article, here is the link. It might help if you speak German :biggrin: since some of the passages relating to Faust are not in English.

Great article!! Yes, it makes a great deal of sense in terms of Woland. That site is a wonderful resource by the way. I personally think one could fall in and spend several months wandering around.
"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed and some few to be chewed and digested." Sir Francis Bacon, Of Studies

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Re: Master and Margarita Question #8: Woland

Unread postby RamblinRebel » Wed Oct 03, 2012 1:36 am

nebraska wrote:While I was away over the weekend I read the essay I mentioned about the Gnostic Devil. While I won't go into the whole thing here (I probably didn't truly "get" the whole thing anyway, because a portion of the essay detailed the connection between the Master and Margarita and Faust) I did find an interesting train of thought about the role of the devil in the Bible and how it relates to Woland. In the Old Testament the devil is seen as a tempter of man -- a figure who harasses humans -- but is still seen as a fallen angel and remains in the service of God. In the New Testament the devil changes from an opponent of man to an opponent of God Himself, becoming the evil that explains its opposite which is the goodness of God. The theory of the essay is that Woland is more of an Old Testament devil -- a mocker, teaser, a tempter -- and still in the service of God in his own way. Seen this way, the character of Woland made more sense to me.
If anyone is interested in reading the entire article, here is the link. It might help if you speak German :biggrin: since some of the passages relating to Faust are not in English.
Hi nebraska, welcome back! :wave:
What you said here about the two versions of the devil really makes a lot of sense with regard to Woland. Thanks for the insight, and for the link. I read the first few paragraphs and it looks great. I'll probably read the rest when we've finished the discussion. :cool: And boy do I want to read Faust now. :reader:

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Re: Master and Margarita Question #8: Woland

Unread postby Liz » Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:39 pm

Interesting about the difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament devil. I was not aware of that. Thanks, nebraska, and welcome back. We missed you.

We will actually have a question surrounding Faust later on. Stay tuned.

And speak of the devil, did anyone watch 666 Park Avenue this week? Now this is how I have always seen the devil.....not like Woland.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.


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