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?
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    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

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