The Pit and the Pendulum by Edgar Allan Poe

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What is the first torture in the "Pit and the Pendulum"?

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Jonathan Beutlich, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The first torture could be any number of things, depending on whether you want to classify the torture as only physical or include psychological.  

If you include psychological torture, I would say that the first torture is the narrator's sentencing.  He begins to break down and swoon the moment he is pronounced guilty.  He's crazy with fear at that point, because he knows what's coming, and he essentially starts to hallucinate.  

I saw, too, for a few moments of delirious horror, the soft and nearly imperceptible waving of the sable draperies which enwrapped the walls of the apartment. And then my vision fell upon the seven tall candles upon the table. At first they wore the aspect...

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