Interprettive Essay: The Tell-Tale Heart By Edgar Allan Poe

728 Words3 Pages

“ The Tell-Tale Heart” Interpretive Essay Is the complex character created by Edgar Allan Poe a calculated killer or a delusional madman. In the short story “The Tell Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe, the main character has a mental condition which causes him to kill a neighbor. He believes that his neighbor has a “vulture eye” which is the reason why he killed him. Night after night, he watches the man and plans how to kill him. Then one night, he puts his plan into action. He kills the man by slamming a bed over him, then he severs his body and hides him under the floor. Later that night, police come to investigate, but they don’t suspect him. He confidently invites the police man to talk in his house. He is overcome with guilt and ends up …show more content…

The author writes, “The disease had sharpened my senses - not destroyed - not dulled them.” (Poe, 1843) This text describes that the killer has a mental disorder. Poe also writes, “‘Villains!’ I shrieked, “dissemble no more” I admit the deed! - tear up the planks - here, here! - it is the beating of the hideous heart.’” This shows that the man believed that he was hearing the beating heart of an already dead man. Since, this is obviously not true, this proves that the murderer does indeed have mental disease. This would be a very vital piece of information if this case were to go to trial. The fact that this man has a mental disease would save him from being eligible from the death penalty. This is because the 8th amendment states, “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” Giving someone who has mental disease the death penalty would be seen as a cruel and unusual punishment. Some may argue that even though the killer did murder the man, he did not show any empathy for what he did. This can be proven otherwise because of the fact that someone under the influence of mental disease may not always be able to control their actions. In similar cases such as the Walton vs. Virginia, and Eley vs. Ohio, the same practice was used. Therefore, the murderer cannot be sentenced

Open Document