The judges could be seen as the horrible captors and torturers in this story. Based on the way Poe describes them, they could also be compared to the Grim Reaper, the judges could be seen as a symbol of death and Poe's fear of death."I saw the lips of the black-robed judges. They appeared to me white, whiter than the sheet upon which I trace these words, and thin even to grotesqueness; thin with the intensity of their expression of..stern contempt of human torture."
Although, Poe can not see anything, he sees the dark and that makes him feel as if he's stuck and can not move. This is an essential part especially because we see that the speaker is in shock and feels stuck. His worst fears become a reality in this scene. "..wild desperation at heart, I quickly unclosed my eyes. My worst thoughts, then, were confirmed. The blackness of eternal night encompassed me. I struggled for breath. The intensity of the darkness...""
The speaker begins to speak of the pit, and rumors he's heard. Towards the end, he becomes curious and this becomes another turning point because as the readers begin to infer that Poe will fall down the pit, he does not, and continues to keep the suspense alive."I put forward my arm, and shuddered to find that I had fallen at the very brink of a circular pit, whose extent, of course, I had no means of ascertaining at the moment. "