Comparing Tell-Tale Heart, Ligeia, And The Black Cat

Better Essays
Edgar Allan Poe is well known in America and around the world for the horror and mystery in his stories and the dark romanticism of his poems (Lyber et al.). Most of Poe’s gothics have one trait in common a narrator with a disturbed psyche, which is shown in The Tell-Tale Heart, Ligeia, and The Black Cat. Throughout his life, he wrote many dark stories and poems that would give him a permanent place in American literature. One of Poe’s more popular stories The Tell-Tale Heart portrays a narrator that is troubled by an old man's “vulture” like eye. The narrator tells of how he has been ill but goes on to say that his illness has only made his mind sharper and his senses stronger. As the story progresses he tells of how he kills the man and…show more content…
Unlike The Tell-Tale Heart, the narrator is deeply in love with the Lady Ligeia and is also addicted to opium. He expresses his love for Lady Ligeia even though “I CANNOT, for my soul, remember how, when, or even precisely where, I first became acquainted with the lady Ligeia.” (Poe Ligeia). The Lady Ligeia later dies and he moves to an abbey in London where he marries the Lady Rowena. He later learns that his wife hates his “...the fierce moodiness of my temper — that she shunned me and loved me but little…” (Poe Ligeia). His wife falls ill and dies, and while her body is lying in her bed he hears “...a sob, low, gentle, but very distinct...I felt that it came from the bed of ebony — the bed of death.” (Poe Ligeia). The corpse begins to move every hour then fall back to the bed, and then a few hours later moves more violently then stand straight up. The corpse's hair changes from blonde to “blacker than the raven wings of the midnight!” (Poe Ligeia). The corpse of his wife changes to the Lady Ligeia. It is most likely that most of the "phantasmagoric” events that take place in the story don’t take place at all. The narrator talks about his “opium dreams” frequently throughout the story. All of the events may have been in his head brought on by his constant use of…show more content…
The man throughout his life is known for his docility and his love for animals. He gets married to a woman that shares his love for animals, and they have many pets. One of which is his favorite, the black cat. The narrator becomes addicted to alcohol and becomes ill towards his pets and wife. He abuses all of his pets except the black cat. Then one night he comes home intoxicated seizes the cat and cuts out one eye. The cat begins avoiding him, which angers him more and he ties a noose around its neck and hangs it. That morning his house burns down leaving one wall with “...the figure of a gigantic cat. The impression was given with an accuracy truly marvelous. There was a rope about the animal’s neck.” (Poe The Black Cat). He begins to miss the cat and one day finds another exactly like the other, but this one has a white spot on his chest. The white spot slowly changes shape to show an outline of the gallows, which causes the narrator to loathe him. One day the cat almost trips him down the stairs, he begins to swing his axe at it. His wife stops him and “Goaded by the interference into a rage more than demoniacal, I withdrew my arm from her grasp and buried the axe in her brain. She fell dead upon the spot without a groan.” (Poe The Black Cat). He hides the body by removing bricks in the cellar and putting it in the wall. A few days later the police show up and he shows them
Get Access