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Ambrosio is the titular character and main protagonist of the 1796 Gothic horror novel The Monk by Matthew Gregory Lewis.


Ambrosio was left to a monastery in Madrid as a baby, where he was then raised by the monks. Upon reaching adulthood, he becomes a respected and revered figure in Madrid but is very proud.

After breaking his vow of chastity Ambrosio jumps to committing kidnapping, black magic, rape, murder, and incest before selling his own soul to Satan, who then kills brutally after revealing he was responsible for Ambrosio's descent into sin.


Ambrosio is a proud, arrogant man at the beginning of the novel but was genuinely pious and religious. However, after breaking his vow of chastity with Matilda, he quickly spirals down into moral decay and corruption, leading him to murder Elvira, his own mother, and then abduct and rape Antonia, Elvira's daughter and his own sister. Though he displays genuine remorse at times, this turns into bitter self-loathing and his pride prevents him from actually repenting, instead seeking to escape punishment and hide his crimes in any way he can. To this end, he ultimately sells his soul to the Devil, who reveals he had been manipulated by him throughout the novel. Despite this, it is clear Ambrosio knew the risks of temptation but gave in anyway, for the sake of his hedonism.

Ambrosio's relationship with women is defined by his views on purity. As such, he only ever experiences sexual attraction to women he views as pure, however, once he has had sexual relations with Matilda, he quickly turns against her, coming to loathe her a prostitute. When he rapes Antonia, he reasons the rape is an act of love on his part and ignores Antonia's protests, but once the act is completed, Ambrosio, horrified at what he has done, turns on Antonia, going so far as to accuse her of leading him astray and causing his damnation. This is followed by a genuine moment of pity and repentance on his part when he resolves to try and help Antonia. However, his pride prevents him from letting her escape, and as such, when she does try, he kills her without hesitation, demonstrating that in the end, no matter how much remorse he may feel, he will always put his pride first.

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