Fri, 23 September 2016
Ambrosius continues to wrestle with his emotions for the hangman’s daughter, and finally comes to a terrifying solution. Ambrose Bierce, today on The Classic Tales Podcast.
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Today we conclude our story of The Monk and the Hangman’s Daughter, by Ambrose Bierce. Ambrosius concludes his quest to reconcile his forbidden romantic feelings for the hangman’s daughter.
I am particularly enjoying the Alpine setting of this story, and the way that the mountains can alternate between being haunted by demons and phantoms, and at other times show traces of a gentle, divine Creator. Of course, because we see the mountains through the mind of Ambrosius, the nature of the wilderness fluctuates according to how he is feeling.
As our story comes to its tragic conclusion, let us consider where we fit in to the narrative. Do we see ourselves as Ambrosius, confused and tormented by things we don’t understand, yet driven to somehow find harmony in the chaos?
Or are we Benedicta, the hangman’s daughter? Destined to live the life of an outcast. Perpetually marginalized and shunned because of her station in life – a station she earned by simply being born.
Or are we the clergy, or governing rulers of the tale?
Or are we those who just fit in?
I feel as though the author may be saying that when anyone, but especially a governing body, holds a prejudiced conviction that some of their people are to be vilified and shunned, it is divisive and destructive.
But only to the shunned.
So I guess the real question is, why should those who are not shunned care?
And now, The Monk and the Hangman’s Daughter, Part 3 of 3, by Ambrose Bierce