THE BLACK MONK tells the tragic tale of philosophy student Andrey Vasilich Kovrin. On the verge of a nervous breakdown, Kovrin decides to visit his childhood friend Tanya Pesotsky at the estate of her father. As he and Tanya develop a relationsship and eventually marry, a black monk of legend begins appearing to Kovrin in visions. Though these hallucinations at first imbue the young man with joy and energy, they eventually lead to his ruin.