I have to write an essay about a passage from chapter 3 of the second volume of The Monk. What themes or points can you remark or think is worth describing after the first encounter of Ambrosio with Antonia? What about his encounter with Elvira?

In The Monk, volume II, chapter 3, after Ambrosio meets Antonia, salient themes include hypocrisy and personal responsibility. Ambrosio’s fantasies comparing Antonia to Matilda show that he is a hypocrite who readily gives in to evil impulses. Although he a priest, he weakly succumbs to sinful sexual desire rather than resisting it. His decision to go to Elvira’s compounds this impression, as his goal is not to help her but to seduce the younger woman.

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Volume II, chapter 3 of The Monk serves to confirm the evil intentions and deeds that characterize Father Ambrosio. Violating his celibacy with Matilda, which is recounted in the early part of the chapter, could conceivably be attributed as originally occurring because of her influence on him. However, it becomes increasingly clear that he is deliberately and repeatedly engaging in sexual activities. Two related themes of the latter part of the chapter that would be suitable for analysis are hypocrisy and personal responsibility. Throughout the chapter, the vast gap between Father Ambrosio’s sworn commitments and his actual behavior is revealed. Furthermore, he refuses to address the consequences of his sins, and instead compounds the problem by seeking to have sexual relations with more women, including young Antonia. Rather than atoning and improving, he worries about the consequences of others’ discovering his transgressions.

As a priest, Father Ambrosio has sworn to adhere to all tenets of his faith. Instead, he willfully breaks his vows of celibacy and engages in the sin of fornication. Rather than take responsibility for his actions and try to mend his ways, he becomes preoccupied with his own carnal needs. Even worse, he then turns his attention to a chaste young woman. Moreover, he deliberately misleads Elvira in his intentions, as his true motive for visiting her home is not to heal her but to pursue her virtuous daughter.

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