The characters from the novel
Bulgakov's major talent is in his capability to transform his impressions and deceptions into satire. He works secretly on The Master and Margarita during the ongoing repression in the Soviet Union in the thirties. It turns into a glorification of freedom and a gorgeous love story, but also into a book by which he took revenge on the soviet literators for thwarting him. No wonder that many characters, locations and houses are fictitious only on the face of things. Sometimes it's a piece of cake to find out about whom Bulgakov is talking, but sometimes it needs more insight.
The Master and Margarita is loaded with interesting, comical, touching, intriguing and sometimes absolutely disgusting characters.
In this section of the website we're looking for similarities with real characters. In the section locations we do the same for the places and the buildings described in the novel.
Many characters of The Master and Margarita are based on real life prototypes who were playing an active role as censors of literary works or in the arrests of the writers. For some characters Bulgakov was inspired by people of his own direct environment, and others just got names referring to traits the author didn't really appreciate.
Your guide through the novel
In this section are explained, per chapter, all typical notions, names of people and places, quotations and expressions from the novel with a description of the political, social, economical and cultural context.