The monk’s character is quite a showground of archetypes. Initially he is the moral champion of Spain, shrouded in mystery and a shining example of religious life. His downfall, that of releasing unrestrained and built up lust, transforms him into a figure of evil. The manner in which Lewis achieves this altercation allows the reader to sympathize with him, as after all, no man can be perfect – not even a monk.
Whether the monk is the protagonist of the story, is a difficult paradox to understand, due to the manner in which the material in the book is presented. Firstly, the monk, is the title of the book. Yet, his story does not wholly dominate the book, and his actions do not precipitate a large number of the events detailed. Quite a contradiction to the aforementioned quote. A way in which we can analyse the monk, is simply by dissecting his persona, in order to extract the necessary components in understading why he could indeed be portraid as the protaganist.
Firstly the monk as the epitome of what can be achieved through a religious life, despite his lack of family and wealth. The other persona will be that of the monk, who is a human being. Who, like all of us, shares and toils with primal urges : love, sex, hate, power and desire. The monk is of course neither of these persona’s at any one time, but it is this dissection that forms the actions of the book, as to be comprable with the monk.