Margarita (Master and Margarita)
|The Master and Margarita character|
|Created by||Mikhail Bulgakov|
|Full name||Margarita Nikolaevna|
|Significant other(s)||The Master|
In the novel, Margarita Nikolaevna is 30 years old. She is a very pretty Muscovite, strong and resolute. She is a housewife, residing in downtown Moscow and married to a rich, famous military engineer she doesn't love and with whom she has no children. She lives in a large apartment and has a servant (Natasha, who later becomes a witch). She falls in love with a writer who she called Master (an honorary rather than domination nickname), who is kidnapped one night without her knowledge, leaving her confused and melancholy. She is invited to join Woland's entourage, performing the role of Queen by hosting Satan's Ball at Woland's request.
Most Bulgakov scholars believe that the main prototype for Margarita was Elena Bulgakova, the third and last wife of the writer, whom he called "my Margarita. The love between the two main characters is described in the novel as follows: "Love leaped out in front of us like a murderer in an alley leaping out of nowhere, and struck us both at once. As lightning strikes, as a Finnish knife strikes! She, by the way, insisted afterwards that it wasn't so, that we had, of course, loved each other for a long, long time, without knowing each other...".
While depressed and sullen when we first meet her, Margarita quickly proves herself to be ready for anything—far removed from the timidity of many other love-story heroines. She is also intelligent and perceptive. When she first meets the hideous Azazello at Alexandrovsky Garden, she is direct with him almost to the point of rudeness, and begins to walk away in a huff when he stops her by mysteriously quoting from the Master's unpublished manuscript. Margarita expresses only passing, minimal surprise at this, and ultimately accepts both Azazello's cream and his invitation to meet "the foreigner," Woland—but not before letting Azazello know that she hasn't been fooled:
"Understood. This thing is pure gold, you can tell by the weight. So, then, I understand perfectly well that I'm being bribed and drawn into some shady story for which I'm going to pay dearly...I know what I'm getting into. But I'm getting into it on account of him, because I have no more hope for anything in this world. But I want to tell you that if you're going to ruin me, you'll be ashamed! Yes, ashamed! I'm perishing on account of love!"
Margarita's bold, direct, don't-look-back attitude is on full display after she uses Azazello's cream and before she leaves for Woland's. She writes a note to her husband, bluntly confessing her choice:
"Forgive me and forget me as soon as possible. I am leaving you for ever. Do not look for me, it is useless. I have become a witch from the grief and calamities that have struck me. It's time for me to go. Farewell."
She also displays generosity towards her maid, Natasha, by sharing the transformative cream with her, reinforcing the notion that she truly does not care for money or beauty but only for the Master and love.