A public ceremony that took place during the Spanish Inquisition in which the offender was read his sentence, accompanied by a sermon and a round of prayer
A state in which a person's muscles are rigid and he/she is completely non-responsive
A burial garment
To testify under oath for a recorded document that may later be used in a court of law
The British term for checkers
A burning brilliance
A naval term for six feet of depth
The structure from which a noose is attached and on which a hanging occurs
A member of the French police
in articulo mortis
Latin phrase for "at the point of death"
Usually spelled "jaggery," a type of unrefined sugar made from the sap of a palm tree
A builder who works with stone or brick; A member of the Freemasons, an international fraternal organization
Synonym for hypnotism, named for Franz Anton Mesmer, who believed that he could make his hypnotized subjects do incredible things through a magnetic influence
An actor or partygoer who wears a mask or costume
A form of potassium nitrate otherwise known as saltpeter, which is used in making gunpowder; also spelled "niter"
Someone who has only recently joined a higher socioeconomic class
A state of obstinately wanting to be opposed to what is correct or good
Forcing conformity, named for the mythological Greek character Procrustes, who waylaid travelers and killed them by forcing them to conform to the size of his bed either by pulling or by cutting away body parts
Pieces of lumber used in the framework of a building
A type of dung beetle
A dry, dusty, cyclone-like wind that appears in the deserts of Africa and the Middle East; in Poe's "MS. Found in a Bottle" it resembles a combination of a simoom and a typhoon, as it occurs on water
A church tribunal which was established by Ferdinand II and Isabella I to enforce Catholicism in Spain
Poe’s Short Stories Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Poe’s Short Stories is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
The tragedy is that what was left of the usher family was rotting like the house they lived in. It's difficult to call this a love story. Roderick had a rather twisted relationship with his sister that Poe implies was incestuous.