Analysis Of Insanity In The Tell-Tale Heart By Edgar Allan Poe

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In the legal world, a nondescript defense that the defense might utilize is insanity. Legal Insanity is arguing that the defendant is not responsible for their actions due to an episodic or persistent psychiatric disease at the time of the criminal act. In many pieces of literature, the narrator or protagonist being insane based on their rhetoric can be debatable such as The “Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe. By scrutinizing Insanity, one can better fathom why the narrator is insane and not legally responsible because of mens rea, actus rea, and control. Mens rea is the guilty mind of the defendant, meaning the defendant has the intent to commit the crime. While scrutinizing the narrator’s diction (the author’s word choice) within the poem, she is not insane…show more content…
And now a new anxiety seized me -- the sound would be heard by a neighbour! The old man’s hour had come! Here, here! -- it is the beating of his hideous heart!”. Due to the narrators anxiety it made her commit the crime and while it has been established that she is mentally ill, in this state it only incites her anxiety and pushed her to commit this crime. Now some people may incorrectly believe that she is not insane and deserves juvenile punishment. They may believe this because the narrator did know what she was doing, “with what dissimulation, I went to work” . However, this is simply not the case because the narrator did not have mens rea and in order to have actus rea, mens rea is required. To prove this, “I think it was his eye! Yes, it was this!”. The narrator was thinking while she had the illness that controlled her. With the scrutinization of Insanity, it has been fathomed why the narrator is insane and not legally responsible because of mens rea, actus rea, and control. Only an insane person hears a ringing that nobody else can
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