There were three main punishments to trials in the Spanish Inquisition. The punishments were being relaxed, reconciled, and penanced. The most minor punishment was being penanced. People were fined, banished from the country or forced to wear an embarrassing hat called Sanbenito to show to the public that they have sinned. After the person’s time of wearing the hat it was hung up so the public humiliation would continue for many years to come. Being reconciled was the second worst punishment. People were sentenced to different punishments if they were reconciled. They were sentenced to row the galleys for extensive periods of time, flogging, or serve long prison terms. All of the person’s property and goods were taken if they were reconciled. Being relaxed is ironically the most serious punishment involving death. People were burned at the stake alive. If they died or escaped while awaiting their trial they were burned in effigy, which is a sculpture of a person. This punishment was for heretics that didn’t repent or those who had been on trial before. Auto da fe was a special form of being relaxed. There was a ceremony that took place in public. It was a big event and was planned ahead of time.
In Edgar Allan Poe’s story, “The Pit and the Pendulum,” Poe, uses the horror elements of isolation, madness, and plot twists to add suspense to the story. A man is put into a dungeon by judges and is awaiting death. They rig multiple traps for him that he keeps getting out of. First, Poe uses isolation for this story by keeping the man inside a dungeon all alone with no light. He opened his eyes and was immediately felt crushed. He said, “The blackness of eternal night encompassed me” (Poe 3). He wakes from fainting and realizes he cannot see. He feels like the darkness is enclosing him into a tight space. Another element is madness. The judges hang a pendulum to the ceiling that will slowly descend and eventually kill the man. It takes days
When he finished his breakfast he decided it was time to get rid of the body. As he was heading to the general’s room he got lost like as if he was lost in a maze. Soon he found his way there.
The man’s neck is then clasped by the grotesque hands of the executioner and he is throttled
In “The Pit and the Pendulum”, the atmosphere is dark and unsettling. In addition to the setting and characters, there are various other factors that give the story a creepy feel to it. Furthermore, the narrator’s thoughts and descriptions add to the ominous mood of the story. For example, the tale states, “By long suffering my nerves had been unstrung, until I trembled at the sound of my own voice, and had become in every respect a fitting subject for the species of torture which awaited me” (Poe 5). At this point in the story, the narrator, falling into his torturers’ trap, tips on the verge of insanity and begins to lose hope. The reader can easily picture the narrator, cowering against the wall, eyes wide, flinching at the slightest of sounds. Therefore, along with the horrifying aspects of the torture chamber, the unstable narrator and his thoughts create a foreboding and macabre feeling characteristic to gothic
In Edgar Allan Poe’s story, “The Pit and the Pendulum,” Poe, uses the horror elements of isolation, madness, and plot twist to add suspense to the story. In the beginning, the narrator is standing in front of what he describes as judges as they decide his fate, which adds suspense because the audience doesn’t know what could happen to the narrator when the judges punish him. Secondly, he is all alone, or so he believe. He is the only one experiencing the things that are being done, he is isolated from everyone and it is very dark. The narrator thinks, “My worst thoughts, then, were confirmed. The blackness of eternal night encompassed me,”(Poe 3) as he lays on the damp ground. Towards the middle, the narrator going mad because the Spanish
Finally, the historical setting of “The Pit and the Pendulum," tells us about events that occurred in the Spanish city of Toledo, “the central command from which the religious persecutions of all Jews, Muslims, and accused "heretics" were put on trial” (4). The Inquisition punished, imprisoned, tortured and executed the supposedly heretics in many unbelievable and terrifying ways. It was not abolished until the capture of Toledo by Napoleon Bonaparte and
The theme in “The Pit and the Pendulum” is death and hope. This is displayed in the poem when the narrator realizes the razor sharp pendulum that has been over him swaying from side to side is not an image, and is getting ready to kill him at any second. In the “Pit and the Pendulum” on page 276 it states, “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.” This means the whole time the narrator was in the dungeon he thought the pendulum was nothing but an image of time. When the rats bite through his restraints, he has a feeling of hope that he will escape and not die He feels the same thing
In Edgar Allan Poe’s story, “The Pit and the Pendulum.” poe uses the elements of unknowingness, fear, and fight or flight, descriptive words to add suspense to the story. The man within the story is being sentenced to death because of his faith, he is found guilty and then taken to a duongen and tortured, he is put through 3 different ways of tortures before a french general saves him. First when he is laying on the stone table he decides to do this, ¨At length, with a wild desperation at heart, I quickly unclosed my eyes, my worst thoughts, then, were confirmed¨ (Poe #3). The previous sentence shows that he was fearful of the situation he is in. Second when he now knows he can't see he does this, ¨Such a supposition, notwithstanding what we
The victim was strapped to a table with a pot of rats upended on his stomach. Then a fire was lit atop the cauldron. The rats had no choice but to burrow into the condemned’s stomach.
The unit question asks whether or not the hero of Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Pit and the Pendulum” would realistically be able to escape the descending blade swinging on a pendulum. The question is a matter of time, is it feasible for the protagonist to escape the pendulum with the allotted amount of time. Based on standard deviation and testing a pendulum of the same scale as the one mentioned in the story, the answer is no. The protagonist mentions that he believed 10-12 periods of the pendulum would result in the blade coming in contact with his torso. Using the formula developed in class for the period of a pendulum, it would take the 30 foot pendulum described in the story about 72 seconds to complete 12 periods. Testing the actual 30 foot yielded similar results within 1-2 seconds of 72 seconds. Therefore, it is fair to say that the hero is working with 72 seconds to free himself. This does not seem like enough time to develop an escape strategy, act on the strategy, and leave without getting hit bit the pendulum. The method the hero describes involves thinking about the situation and then employing the help of nearby rats. He also mentions, “Yet one minute, and I felt that the struggle would be over,” as if to imply he had 1 minute to spare. Since he was reflecting and then enticing the rats to gnaw through the rope it is not likely that it took only 12 seconds to escape. 72 seconds does not seem like enough time for the hero to complete his escape. However, the thickness of the rope and speed of the rats are factors that could affect the outcome.
During the entire short story, the narrator is stuck inside of his prison cell that he refers to as an apartment……. The exact time period is not given, however, it is towards the end of the inquisition, around 1834. This is shown when the narrator is saved in the end, because the inquisition is over. Thus, it can be inferred that the character is being punished on religious means. However, the time period and torture the narrator receives do not correlate. The torture the narrator endures would be the kind of torture given during the Middle Ages, year 500-1000. Since the story takes place around the early 1800s, Poe used the historical context of the Spanish Inquisition and old fashioned torture tactics to create his own gruesome nightmare.
Stephen King once said, “We make up horrors to help us cope with the real ones.” Bram Stroker, H.P. Lovecraft, Mary Shelley, and Edgar Allan Poe may have been a few of the greatest authors of horror to ever live. Out of all of these authors, Poe may have written the most freighting tales. All of his stories are considered horror, but some of them have more horrific qualities than others. “The Pit And The Pendulum” is one of Poe’s most famous works. “The Pit And The Pendulum” by Edgar Allen Poe meets three qualifications of a true horror story.
Additionally, “The Pit and the Pendulum” is a nail-biting narration of a prisoner being kept in a dungeon. Unaware of what his fate will be, the narrator assumes he will suffer death by hanging, until he explores his unlit surroundings and finds he is in a dungeon with a deep pit in the floor and a pendulum like scythe swinging from the ceiling above. Left to die, the narrator is saved in his last moments of despair by General Laselle who has taken over the prison as part of his crusade to end the inquisition. Perhaps one of Poe's most aspirant pieces of writing, the narrator in the “The Pit and Pendulum” never relinquishes himself to what the reader may view as an inevitable, certain death.
The prisoner exemplifies resourcefulness which is shown through his actions of survival. Despite his unstableness, he still manages to remain clever in such a frightening situation. Poe asserts that the prisoner is resourceful considering he uses the hem of his robe to plot out his area: “I tore a part of the hem from the robe, and placed the fragment at full length, and at right angles to the wall. In groping my way around the prison, I could not fail to encounter this rag upon completing the circuit.” (Poe 3). Being that he uses his resources to find his way around the tomb, he learns that he is among a treacherous pit which could mean death. This action alters the whole course of the story due to the possibility of the prisoner falling into the pit. The prisoner continues to show signs of resourcefulness in the toughest situations: “Observing that I remained without motion, one or two of the boldest leaped upon the frame-work and smelt at the