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The Pit and the Pendulum

The Pit and the Pendulum


by Edgar Allan Poe

Reading Quizzes

Available to teachers only as part of theThe Pit and the PendulumTeacher Pass

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Sample of Reading Quizzes



1. Who are the figures in black at the beginning of the story?
2. What causes the narrator to lose his memory?
3. Where is the narrator when he wakes up?
4. In what country is the story set?
5. What happens when the narrator drinks the water that has been left next to him?
6. What object does the narrator use to try to measure the circumference of his prison?
7. What shape does the narrator's prison turn out to be?
8. What is at the center of the prison?
9. What kind of food is the narrator given?
10. What animals come out of the pit, attracted by the narrator's food?
11. What does the narrator notice slowly descending from the top of his prison?
12. Whom does the narrator refer to as an "imbecile—an idiot"?
13. The pendulum is at the level of what part of the narrator's body?
14. How does the narrator get free of his bandages?
15. What happens to the narrator in the end?


1. Judges, or inquisitors
2. He swoons, or faints.
3. In some sort of dungeon, or vault
4. Spain
5. He falls asleep.
6. A shred of his clothing
7. Square
8. A pit
9. Highly seasoned meat
10. Rats
11. A pendulum
12. Himself
13. His heart
14. He rubs food on them so the rats will chew through them.
15. He is rescued at the last minute by the French.