The biblical code in M. Bulgakov’s novel "The Master and Margarita"

  • Ludmila Ostapenko Candidate of Philology, Associate Professor, Slavic Philology, Comparative Studies and Translation Department, Nizhyn Mykola Gogol State University
  • Tatiana Semendyay Master of Philology, Philology, Translation and Journalism Institute, Nizhyn Mykola Gogol State University
Keywords: M. Bulgakov, Master and Margarita, biblical code

Abstract

The article is devoted to identifying features of the Bible’s artistic reception in M. Bulgakov’s novel "Master and Margarita". The authors research the biblical code of the novel and refute the myth of the writer’s apocryphalism. In our article we made a comparative analysis of the characters of the novel in comparison with the biblical prototypes, outlined and interpreted the deviation from the primary source, defined the role of the biblical characters in revealing the ideological content of the work. The authors argue that, despite some deviations from the Bible, the image of Yeshua Ha-Nozri, created by M. Bulgakov, is entirely consistent with the sacred meaning of the Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah and the Gospel texts that testify to the earthly life of Christ. Researchers say that Yeshua is devoid of a messianic profile, but his role in the fate of other characters in the work embodies the biblical idea of Salvation. We made analysis of the characters of the Ershalaim sections of the novel from the perspective of Sacred History which shows that, just like biblical characters, they are not only connected to historical realities, but are carriers of sacred meaning. M. Bulgakov created in the novel a universal typology of human characters that fulfill different functions about Yeshua and at the same time appear to be involved in his death. The authors of the article argue that M. Bulgakov’s artistic reception of biblical personalities, which provides detailed portrait characteristics, deep psychology, naturalistic depiction of biblical events, promotes realization in the work of the sacred meaning of Scripture. In our article we described the features of biblical time and space and their functionality in the novel. The observations of the authors attest to the presence in the novel of historical and kyrotic times. According to biblical ideas about the time, M. Bulgakov relates the present with the events of the first century AD, connected with the last days of the earthly life of Christ. The biblical characteristics of time in the novel are proof that, according to the writer, these events determine the present and future of mankind. A survey of the spatial features of the Ershalaim sections of the novel attests to the documentary reproduction of the topography of Jerusalem in the first century AD. The authors guess that the image in the novel of the Ancient City and its environs proves M. Bulgakov’s desire to adhere to the biblical canon and helps to restore topographic details that are not specifically stated in the Bible. The study has shown that taking into account the biblical code, which contains characters of the Ershalaim chapters and features of the novel’s chronotope, is extremely important to
understand the author’s design. The authors of the article are convince that in the novel "Master and Margarita" M. Bulgakov does not distort biblical срфкфсеукі and events, but with the help of artistic fiction attracts readers to the sacred meaning of Scripture.

References

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Abstract views: 14
Published
2020-05-18
How to Cite
Ostapenko, L., and T. Semendyay. “The Biblical Code in M. Bulgakov’s Novel "The Master and Margarita"”. Literature and Culture of Polissya, Vol. 98, no. 14f, May 2020, pp. 76-89, doi:10.31654/2520-6966-2020-14f-98-76-89.