Guilty In Edgar Allan Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart

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We start the story with a man attempting to tell us his side of a story, but we immediately begin to realize the man may not be the most reliable narrator. It is not long until the deeds of the narrator catch up to him. In Edgar Allan Poe 's "The Tell-Tale Heart", we see the effect of repressed guilt upon the conscience. Using the tone from the narrator, irony, and foreshadowing we see that, even with the narrator 's tenuous grasp of reality, the repressed guilt of taking another human 's life is too much for him to bare. We receive the tale from the narrator 's point of view, and we see the man may be mentally ill. Like most of Poe 's narrators he is unreliable. He begins by telling us that he is not mad but ill. The illness, he explains, has heightened his senses. He starts by explaining that he is not mad, but almost immediately starts into leaps of logic that can only be explained if he is mad. The irony in the narrator telling us he is not mad and then explaining how he commits a premeditated murder is obvious. Poe does a good job of capturing the psychotic state of mind of the narrator with such…show more content…
The guilt for his actions, though not immediately apparent, begin to manifest. The narrator is almost immediately forced to confront the actions of the night as the police arrive. At first, we see manic behavior from the narrator as he deals with the police "… as if playing a game with them..."(Poe). Guilt for his recent actions begin to play games on his mind as he begins to hear the accusation in the beating of the heart. It grows louder as the narrator talks with the police. To cover up the sound that the narrator believes come from outside his own mind he begins to talk louder and faster. He believes the police can hear the heart and are now playing with him. In truth the police may be playing with him having noticed his erratic behavior and are waiting for the weight of guilt, the man must obviously be feeling, to force a confession of some evil
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