How does Poe portray the characters ?
In the Pit and the Pendulum, there is really only one character who is capable of being characterized: the narrator. From the beginning, he is characterized as an educated man, or at least an intelligent man. He mentions Hades, an ancient Greek God, and ancient Greece has long been a part of education. He also decides to measure his cell, exploring its confines despite the darkness. We also see that he is quite a rational man, as he is able to keep his wits about him (usually) even when rats are in the process of eating him alive. He is resourceful: he uses a strip of his own clothing to stick to the wall in his attempt to measure its dimensions, he breaks off a piece of the ledge to test the depth of the pit, and he uses the rats to help him free himself from his bonds in order to escape the slow execution of the pendulum. And most of all, he is realistic, as he is often terrified of the gruesome nature of his execution.