The Monk (pages 192-279)

This section could bee the weirdest – at least it is so far.  It starts out innocently enough, with Raymond resolving to find Agnes and Lorenzo trying to get on Antonia’s good side.  Meanwhile, Ambrosio and Matilda are still at it.  There were two things I found interesting about this.  On page 224, Matilda says, “Unnatural are your vows of celibacy; Man was not created for such a state”

According to the church, religious life is a special vocation.  But on the other hand, what Matilda says is true – except that you should do it when you are married and not before.  It is not humanity’s first thought to enter into religious life.  We need to satisfy our desire, because that is what comes naturally to us.

Later, Matilda’s quote makes even more sense.  Ambrosio was born to a privileged family, and he would have made a good soldier, given the chance.  But then his parents died, and he went to live in the monastery.  He was forced into something that might not have been natural for him if he had known another way of life.

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