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The Pit and the Pendulum

The Pit and the Pendulum

by Edgar Allan Poe

Antagonist

Character Role Analysis

The Inquisition

If we're talking big picture – and we are – then we have to talk about our villains not as judges or even as inquisitors. No, the forces that conspire against our narrator are bigger than that. They are: The Inquisition… no, no, even better: THE INQUISITION – a hulking, frightening mechanism of torture and doom. Yes, they count men among their ranks, but their devices of torture – the pit, the pendulum, and the entire ghastly cell – are extensions of one central power, the deadly legs of a vast, venomous spider of an organization. (Okay, okay, maybe we're going overboard with our metaphors, but what better way to capture the fevered breathless narration of Poe than with a little purple prose of our own?) To make a long story short: the Inquisition is a tough and devious foe, and it's no wonder it takes an army (literally) to bring them down.


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