The Pit and the Pendulum
Simply superb illustration by Harry Clarke.
Our nameless narrator has been condemned by a panel of black robed, white lipped, stern faced judges. His crime is unknown, but then this is th ...more
At age twelve I was given my first introduction to the world of literature by my mother who read me Poe’s The Pit and the Pendulum. I can still vividly recollect living through the horrors of the chamber with the unnamed narrator, wondering why Christian monks would construct such a room and why Christian monks would inflict such torture. I still wrestle with a number of the story’s themes.
Why do such a thing? The story’s torture chamber is not a makeshift construction slapped together; ra ...more
The Pi ...more
Time conquers all; it is an inescapable fate for all men: it cannot be defeated or avoided. It’s a powerful, unshakable, enemy and a recurring theme across many of Poe’s stories. I’ve seen it a few times now. This time it is a tormenter and a reminder of the incoming doom in the dark pit that is death. This is represented by the pendulum, sweeping like a minute hand, getting faster and faster as it approaches the narrator; it symbolises that death will be the end ...more
3+ of 5 stars to The Pit and the Pendulum, a short story written in 1842, by Edgar Allan Poe. As in the tradition of Poe's other Gothic and gory tales, this one takes the fear of death to new heights. Poe tells the story of a man facing punishment during the Spanish Inquisition, a death like no other. At first, he's strapped to a wooden table while a pendulum swings from above with a saw, getting lower and lower until it's nearly about to start ripping into his flesh. But ...more
The story ...more
and the Pendulum:
3.75 stars. In this 1842 short story by Edgar Allen Poe, an unnamed prisoner details the ghastly and elaborate tortures he endures at the hands of the Spanish Inquisition. He begins with his sentencing by black-robed judges, a nightmarish sequence of images that culminates in his loss of consciousness. When he awakes, he's in a pitch dark room, free to move about, but unable to see a thing. And there his true tortures begin.
Poe, despite a supreme disregard for any hist ...more
Should I stay in an environment that is toxic, or jump into the unknown pit?
Should I sell the rotten stocks or should I keep them?
Should I speak up or stay quiet?
Should I work for another hour or open a bottle of wine?
Should I buy the book or save the money (though that is not really a choice!)?
Should I let mys ...more
"It was hope that prompted the nerve to quiver- the frame to shrink. It was hope- the hope that triumphs in the rack- that whispers to the death- condemned even in the dungeons of the inquisition." My favorite line, perhaps a main theme, and one th ...more
Opening: I WAS SICK --- SICK UNTO death with that long agony; and when they at length unbound me, I was permitted to sit, I felt that my senses were leaving me.
"I panted! I gasped for breath! Oh most unrelenting! Oh most demoniac of men! Oh horror! Oh! Any horror, but this!"
This short POE horror classic, THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM is a first time read for me and it did not disappoint! The ending truly surprised me. Loved it!
The Pit and the Pendulum is a very s ...more
“They writhed upon my throat; their cold lips sought my own; I was half stifled by their thronging pressure; disgust, for which the world has no name, swelled my bosom, and chilled, with a heavy clamminess, my heart.”
You feel it first—the fear, the horror. Then your mind follows. The word torture has lost its edge. This is torture. And also, this is why it is important to hope.
Must. Read. More. Poe.
In Masque of the Red Death, Poe excelled at dread through a pronounced description of setting. Here, setting is present but it's mainly dread through the creative viewpoint of the man's internal monologue and desperation.
“I call to mind flatness and dampness; and then all is madness - the madness of a memory which busies itself among forbidden things.”
Emotion is high and strong throughout during the terrible ordeal - The Inquisition has taken place, the man has been sentenced, and he ...more
The tale is one of the greatest romantic horror tales,told in first person by a condemned to death by the Toledo Inquisition, with the great prose of Poe.
Is a tale about subjetive pass of time,about the subjetive terrorific reality in a sensorial deprived situation,a nightmarish voyage to the unknown next torture, and told in a sort of conscious stream of hopeles fear and ter ...more
Really good, suspenseful little story, told with Poe's deft touch of the macabre. Unlike most of Poe's other stories, though, this on ...more
This Penguin 60 collection contains 4 short stories from Edgar Allan Poe, and I struggle to say I was overly taken by any of them.
I found the writing overly complex and wordy, and took total concentration on each sentence just to filter to the point being made. All these complaints are explained at least partly by the age of the writing I expect.
Irrespective, the 4 stories are not all the same - the titular story about a prisoner of ...more
At least not as late as in the Napoleonic Wars, when it was technically still operating – until Napoleon put a stop to it – but when it would be highly improbable that so much pain would have been taken by the Dominicans to inflict so much pain on one prisoner, especially when nobody was there to witness the plight. Nevertheless, these were thoughts that hardly occurred to me when I read Poe’s tale The Pit and the Pendulum for the first time. I must have be ...more
Doomed. Tic toc, tic toc.
As a helpless spectator of the horrifying sight, the tumult of feelings kept unreeling before my eyes.
“all sensations appeared swallowed up in a mad rushing descent as of the soul into Hades. Then silence, and stillness, night were the universe.”
Torn between Fear and Hope (though the latter only seemed to emphasize the dreadfulness of the situation) the agony is palpable.
There is just something about this story that put fear into my very soul when I imagined the scene portrayed.
Absolutely adore Edgar Allen Poe such a talented author and as my mam liked to say he had a way with words you know.
If you haven't yet read this story you are really missing out. Recommended.
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