The speaker is a prisoner who has been sentenced to death. • After being given his sentence, the speaker faints. • He then explains that there is two ways of coming out of a faint (swoon)—1) come aware mentally/spiritually; 2)physically
When the speaker wakes up from his faint he finds himself in a dungeon. He is afraid to open his eyes at first because he is afraid he will see “nothing.” • When he does open his eyes, he really sees nothing—there is nothing but darkness.
Even though he can’t see anything, the speaker tries to determine how big the dungeon he is being held in is, but he is too weak. He falls and passes out again. • While trying to determine how wide the dungeon is, the speaker finds a very deep pit in the middle of the room.
After finding the pit, the speaker is drugged and falls asleep. He awakes and is able to see his surroundings. He also finds himself tied to a piece of wood in the middle of the room.
Above the speaker is a blade swinging back and forth and slowly descending toward him. The blade will eventually cut him in half. Because it’s moving slowly, the speaker slowly goes insane watching the blade move toward him.
The speaker tricks the rats into eating through the straps that are holding him down so that he can get out. • After getting out, the walls of the dungeon begin to heat up and move, pushing him toward the pit in the middle of the room.
Just as he is about to jump in before being pushed, he is saved by General Lasalle.