Father Ambrosio, the most pious and venerated monk in all of Madrid, is held as a paragon of virtue. But after 30 years of study and prayer, evil thoughts begin to permeate his mind. As two plots cleverly converge, torture, murder, incest, rape, poison, and magic prevail, sustained by an elegance in the writing of the 19-year-old Matthew Lewis.
The Monk is a violent tale of ambition, murder, and incest. The great struggle between maintaining monastic vows and fulfilling personal ambitions leads the monk Ambrosio, into temptation and the breaking of his vows, then to sexual obsession and rape, and finally to murder in order to conceal his guilt. Written when Matthew Lewis was only 19, The Monk was criticised when first published in 1796 for its lewdness and impiety, but this criticism only added to its popularity.
The Monk is Matthew G. Lewis' 1796 novel which is the tale of a monk who is tempted by carnal desire and led down a ruinous path of ungodliness. Ambrosio, a pious, well-respected monk in Spain, is lustfully tempted by his pupil, Matilda, a woman who has disguised herself as a monk. Having satisfied himself with her, he is overcome with carnal desire for the innocent Antonia. With the help of Matilda, who is actually Satan in disguise, Ambrosio seduces Antonia, a seduction that would ultimately lead to his downfall.
Il monaco è il primo e più famoso romanzo gotico. Scritto nel 1796, raccolse un enorme successo, ma creò anche un notevole scandalo per i suoi contenuti: castelli, abbazie, fantasmi e, soprattutto, violenze, stupri, incesti; fra i suoi personaggi troviamo addirittura l’Ebreo errante, e Lucifero in persona. L’autore pubblicò quindi una versione più accettabile nel 1798, in cui i contenuti scabrosi hanno un intento più dichiaratamente morale, rendendolo ispiratore di numerosi altri romanzi (si pensa che anche Manzoni vi si sia ispirato).