The Pit and the Pendulum | Study Guide

Edgar Allan Poe

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Course Hero. "The Pit and the Pendulum Study Guide." Course Hero. 17 May 2017. Web. 14 Dec. 2018. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Pit-and-the-Pendulum/>.

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Course Hero. (2017, May 17). The Pit and the Pendulum Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved December 14, 2018, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Pit-and-the-Pendulum/

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Course Hero. "The Pit and the Pendulum Study Guide." May 17, 2017. Accessed December 14, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Pit-and-the-Pendulum/.

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Course Hero, "The Pit and the Pendulum Study Guide," May 17, 2017, accessed December 14, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Pit-and-the-Pendulum/.

The Pit and the Pendulum | Character Analysis

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Narrator

No matter how hard he tries to use his mental faculties to assess his situation and avoid his tortures, the narrator is outmaneuvered by his tormentors and reduced to a state of near madness. At first terrified of being prematurely buried, the narrator is frustrated in his attempts to explore his prison. His terror increases as the threat of the pit gives way to that of the pendulum, to the point that he becomes nearly mentally unhinged. He finally manages to affect an escape from the pendulum, only to be confronted with another inescapable terror.

Inquisitorial agents

These are shadowy figures the narrator doesn't clearly see, but who carry him into his prison, give him food and drink, and prepare his torture.

Judges

At the beginning of the story, the black-robed judges, who are officials of the Inquisition, pronounce the narrator's sentence of death.

General LaSalle

LaSalle is the Napoleonic general who rushes in to rescue the narrator just as he is about to fall into the pit at the end of the story.

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