What are two things that the narrator remembers about the courtroom in "The Pit and the Pendulum" by Edgar Allan Poe?

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rmhope's profile pic

rmhope | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

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The narrator describes four things about the courtroom in the first paragraph of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Pit and the  Pendulum." He remembers hearing the voices of the judges. He heard distinctly the death sentence pronounced upon him, and after that he heard the "inquisitorial voices" as an indistinct hum.

Second, he remembers the thin white lips of the "black-robed judges." The narrator describes the lips in detail. They were grotesquely thin and resolute in their pronouncements. They formed the syllables of his name, and they described the torture he was sentenced to, although he could not interpret the words they mouthed. 

Next he remembers the "sable draperies" that covered the walls of the room he was in and how they moved ever so slightly.

Finally, he remembers seven white flaming candles on the table. First he envisioned them as angels who would help him, but then they become "meaningless spectres" who would give him no aid. 

The things the narrator remembers from the courtroom are the sound of his sentence, the lips of the judges, the curtains on the wall, and the candles on the table.

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dneshan's profile pic

dneshan | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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The first thing that the narrator remembers is the fact that he has been given a death sentence.  He then recalls what the judges looked like, particularly the color of their lips and the fact that they were wearing black robes. This is evident when he says, "I saw the lips of the black-robed judges."  He continues to discuss this image briefly as the story continues. 

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