bookmate game
Edgar Allan Poe

The Pit and the Pendulum

The blackness of eternal night encompassed me. The intense darkness oppressed and stifled me so that I struggled for breath.Having been condemned to death by the Spanish Inquisition, the narrator descends into a kind of hell. Dizzy with weakness and fainting with fear, he experiences such torments that death itself would be welcome. What troubles him most is the eternal question: how will he die?Toledo Prison is notorious for the torture of the condemned. What minds have dreamed up the terror of the pit in the center of the cell? What is the significance of the painted figure of Time with his menacing pendulum? Why do the walls glow with heat?Experience with the narrator the intensity of his suffering when death seems inevitable but its form uncertain. Can anything, or anybody, help him?
22 printed pages
Have you already read it? How did you like it?


  • b3476482357shared an impression4 years ago

  • Andrija Ilićshared an impression4 years ago
    👍Worth reading

  • al mshared an impression5 years ago


  • Aerishas quoted8 months ago
    I now lay upon my back, and at full length, on a species of low framework of wood. To this I was securely 265 bound by a long strap resembling a surcingle. It passed in many convolutions about my limbs and body, leaving at liberty only my head, and my left arm to such extent that I could, by dint of much exertion, supply myself with food from an earthen dish which lay by my side on the floor. I saw, to my horror, that the pitcher had been removed. I say to my 270 horror; for I was consumed with intolerable thirst. This thirst it appeared to be the design of my persecutors to stimulate: for the food in the dish was meat pungently seasoned. Looking upward I surveyed the ceiling of my

    prison. It was some thirty or forty feet overhead, and constructed much as the side walls. In one of its panels a very singular figure riveted my whole 275 attention. It was the painted figure of Time as he is commonly represented, save that, in lieu of a scythe, he held what, at a casual glance, I supposed to be the pictured image of a huge pendulum such as we see on antique clocks. There was something, however, in the appearance of this machine which caused me to regard it more attentively. While I gazed directly 280 upward at it (for its position was immediately over my own) I fancied that I saw it in motion. In an instant afterward the fancy was confirmed. Its sweep was brief, and of course slow. I watched it for some minutes, somewhat in fear, but more in wonder. Wearied at length with observing its dull movement, I turned my eyes upon the other objects in the cell.

    Explain the situation in lines 262-284

  • Aerishas quoted8 months ago
    125 A fearful idea now suddenly drove the blood in torrents upon my heart, and for a brief period, I once more relapsed into insensibility. Upon recovering, I at once started to my feet, trembling convulsively in every fiber. I thrust my arms wildly above and around me in all directions. I felt nothing; yet dreaded to move a step, lest I should be impeded by the walls 130 of the tomb. Perspiration burst from every pore and stood in cold big beads on my forehead. The agony of suspense grew at length intolerable, and I cautiously moved forward, with my arms extended, and my eyes straining from their sockets, in the hope of catching some faint ray of light.

    I proceeded for many paces; but still all was blackness and vacancy. I 135 breathed more freely. It seemed evident that mine was not, at least, the most hideous of fates.

    Note Poe's use of words and phrases, in lines 125-136, to describe the dungeon

  • Наташа Маркеловаhas quoted4 years ago
    he heat rapidly increased, and once again I looked up, shuddering as with a fit of the ague. There had been a second change in the cell – and now the change was obviously in the form. As before, it was in vain that I, at first, endeavoured to appreciate or understand what was taking place. But not long was I left in doubt. The Inquisitorial vengeance had been hurried by my two-fold escape, and there was to be no more dallying with the King of Terrors. The room had been square. I saw that two of its iron angles were now acute – two, consequently, obtuse. The fearful difference quickly increased with a low rumbling or moaning sound. In an instant the apartment had shifted its form into that of a lozenge. Bu

On the bookshelves

Drag & drop your files (not more than 5 at once)