Was Matilda truly a demon, or was it a lie by Lucifer to torment Ambrosio?
Complete Monster: Ambrosio, the eponymous character, is an epitome of a Sinister Minister character type and the story is about him falling from grace after being tempted to sin. The first scene showing him preaching to the audience hints at his prideful nature. After breaking his vow of chastity Ambrosio jumps to committing kidnapping, Black Magic, rape, murder and incest before selling his own soul to Satan, the only supernatural element left unambiguous in the whole story.
Cry for the Devil: Despite being an awful human being, reading about Ambrosio's torture at the hands of the Spanish Inquisition and his fate and the Awful Truthfrom Satan himself, can make one feel that his punishment is a trifle excessive and that the society he committed these crimes in, is scarcely better than him. The fact that they initially wanted to cover-up his and Rosario's crimes for fears of angering the mob even more, and that Ambrosio was apparently pardoned at the last moment, if Satan is to believed, proves thatSociety Is to Blame.
Fridge Horror: The conspiracy of nuns who knew Agnes was still alive were all killed by the angry mob. If Lorenzo hadn't come across the secret of the statue, she might have never been found.
Harsher in Hindsight: The over-the-top nature of this novel's portrayal of church corruption and cover-ups, and priest and nuns abusing and torturing their charges becomes a lot less mild when compared to the revelations of the Magdalene Sisters and the sex-abuse scandals.
The scenes between Raymond and the Bleeding Nun are interestingly similar to Jonathan Harker's encounter several decades later with the three brides of Count Dracula...
Agnes' narrative style when she tells the story of the Bleeding Nun also bears a striking resemblance to Henry Tilney's in his famous monologue parodying Gothic literature in Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey, which also references The Monk at a different point.