Monkalong 4: Stupider and Stupider

stupid fry
Me to everyone
I’m convinced that if the characters in The Monk were real people they’d all be wandering in circles, staring at their hands.

The Saga of Antonia

Ambrosio finally sets out to assault Antonia, who’s sleeping. Elvira finds him standing over Antonia with his pants down (literally). She doesn’t alert the authorities or ring a bell or something, she stands there saying, “A-ha! I knew it!” and proceeds to waste all her energy telling him how she’s going to ruin him. The maid’s room is right next door! She could throw a shoe or something. Somehow she can yell at Ambrosio but not loud enough for the Flora the maid to hear. Sweet Jebus, this was so frustrating!

When she does finally start yelling, Ambrosio chokes her to death. The next morning Antonia finds her dead mother, and her screams wake up Flora- oh my god, why didn’t you hear Elvira the night before- who gets the doctor. Probably the worst doctor in the world, because how can you mistake strangulation for natural causes. It’s a good thing they didn’t have CSI: Madrid back in those days, because Lewis would not get away with that now.

doctor nick
All old timey doctors
Antonia is now alone (well, she has Flora and the landlady). She’s distraught but “Nobody dies of mere grief.” She can’t go to Raymond because he is LITERALLY DYING OF GRIEF! (which is it, Lewis?!) Lorenzo is MIA. Flora has the sense to tell her what Ambrosio wants. That must have been an interesting conversation. I wonder if it involved puppets and diagrams. She finally hears from her aunt who just married an apothecary.

While she waits for Leonella, her mother’s ghost visits her and tells her that she’ll see her in three days. Antonia freaks out and gets the brain fever. The landlady, a superstitious lady, runs to Ambrosio and begs for help, because she doesn’t want to be haunted. The story she tells involves Elvira eating chicken on a Friday because aren’t those Catholics foolish- hahaha, yes, Lewis we get it, stop beating that dead horse.

Ambrosio has gotten over his first feelings of guilt once it appears that he won’t get arrested for murder and remembers that he never got to raping. Matilda is still helping this jack ass (WHY?) and gives him a knock out drug to slip into Antonia. She must have gone to the same school as Snow White’s stepmom. Antonia will appear to be dead, but won’t be and then Ambrosio can hide her somewhere until she wakes up. Great plan, guys!

snow white high 5
What could possibly go wrong?
While Ambrosio waits for Antonia to drink the potion, he thinks that maybe Matilda is poisoning her for real. Wow, a reasonable thought! This makes sense, but this is The Monk so that’s not going to happen. Antonia starts convulsing but is lucid enough to divvy up her worldly goods. And that’s that.

Lorenzo and the Mystery of the Crying Crypt

Lorenzo is told by a nun via his servant to get an arrest warrant for the Prioress. Agnes was most definitely murdered. Lorenzo heads to the Sisters of St Clare with the authorities during a feast day so that Lewis can insult the Catholics some more.

Lorenzo’s nun yells “J’ACCUSE!” at the Prioress and tells everyone that she forced Agnes to drink poison. I am confused by why the Prioress hates Agnes so much. She’s become a Bond villain. She even has her own minions. Lorenzo is about to send her to the Spanish Inquisition. Because...
spanish inquisition
(Sorry, I had to.)
The crowd freaks out and tears the Prioress apart! Then they decide to avenge the death of an innocent nun by murdering a bunch of innocent nuns. Sure. And also burning the place to the ground. Lorenzo escapes into the Sepulchre.

There he finds some nuns hiding from the mob. They are also afraid because they hear wailing. It’s okay though because it’s probably the ghost who lost his hand by touching the saint’s statue, the Prioress told them all about it. Catholics, amirite? Lorenzo is suspicious and moves the statue to reveal a secret tunnel.

At the end of the tunnel is the source of the crying, a emaciated woman holding a dead baby. He doesn’t rush over the her saying, “I’ll save you!” but hides behind a column and let’s her lament about her starvation for 10 minutes. At no point does he think this could be Agnes. His pregnant sister who the nuns hid away! How many pregnant nuns does he think they keep hidden? When he does carry her out of tunnel, he doesn’t recognize her. I understand Lewis is trying to increase the suspense, but this isn’t the way. It just makes Lorenzo look stupid! Lewis you are a terrible writer!!!!!!!!

This whole section is….

To sum up: everyone in The Monk is an idiot.

Matilda is wasting her brilliant diabolical mind on Ambrosio. He can’t do anything right. Why would the devil want this duffus?

There is an abundance of songs and stories in these two chapters. I skipped them.

Was everyone else as frustrated with this section as I was?

See what everyone else thought over at Alice's blog (thanks, Alice!).


  1. Why why WHY were there so many damn songs in this section. It was the worst! Matthew Gregory Lewis is the worst! I skipped them too, and yes, I was as frustrated with this section as you MAYBE MORE. When the mob stoned the Prioress to death, I was just like "what am I even reading rn". This book.

    Oh you know what else too? You know what else I thought was insane? Is how Ursula just stands there while the Prioress is (as far as Ursula knows) litrally murdering Agnes. What the hell, Ursula? You're not even going to try to assist your pregnant nun friend, seriously?

    1. The Monk: the Musical!

      I like how no one acts like a real human person.

      I think Ursula said she was afraid they'd kill her too. That was her excuse.

  2. I'm so glad other people used the Spanish Inquisition gif. And made pretty much the same comment under it.

    Elvira was so smart the first time she figured out Ambrosio's intentions, all pretending she wasn't going to ruin him. Though I guess seeing him with his pants down surprised her a bit.

    I'm hoping that Matilda has some great scheme. She seems smart and manipulative, so I'm hoping all her machinations will actually make sense and be for something other than helping Ambrosio rape Antonia, but given how dumb everyone else is, I'm afraid Lewis won't let that happen (the Matilda having an awesome evil scheme beyond what it looks like, that is)

    1. Matilda is too smart for this book. I know she's evil and everything, but I can't help but wish she'd do something totally diabolical.

  3. Somehow she can yell at Ambrosio but not loud enough for the Flora the maid to hear. Sweet Jebus, this was so frustrating!


    Then they decide to avenge the death of an innocent nun by murdering a bunch of innocent nuns.

    Yes, mobs will do that. Sigh.

    Didn't M-Lew explain early on in the book that Lorenzo and Agnes had had very little contact?

    I wasn't as frustrated as you were. I find it all very entertaining.

    1. He did say that, but then Lorenzo could recognize her sneaking around in her habit from 20 feet away or whatever when she was sending secret messages. Lewis can't keep his facts straight.

  4. I haven't been following your read along but I think you're reading the book wrong. I don't think you should read it as serious fiction, We think it's 'literature' now because it's so old, but it was pot-boiler, cheap-thrills, exploitation in it's day. Had it been written in the 1970's it would have been sold in supermarket check-out lines alongside Jaws and The Exorcist. I'm not going to defend it, but I read it as guilty-pleasure material and had a great time with it. It makes no sense, it's ridiculous, it's over-written, but it can be a great time if you're willing to play along. Just like Jaws and The Exorcist were.

    1. Don't worry, I don't think anyone is taking the book too seriously, as evidenced by the ridiculousness of the plot and also ample use of gifs.

    2. Yes, we're not reading it as literature. I wouldn't be writing 800 words a week about it if I wasn't enjoying it. Ranting about the ridiculousness of it is part of the fun- for me anyway.


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