The Tell-Tale Heart Interprettive Essay

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“ The Tell-Tale Heart” Interpretive Essay

“He was stone dead. His eye would trouble me no more.”(Poe, 1843) In the short story “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan, a delusional madman plans the death of and innocent old man with an “eye of a vulture” over the course of eight nights. The narrator wanted to kill the old man for only one reason, to get rid of his hideous eye. The killer is burdened with a disease in which he hears voices from heaven and hell, which is why he has a strange obsession with the victim’s eye. On the eight night, the perpetrator murdered the old man by smothering him with a heavy mattress. After the old man was stone dead, he cut his arms, legs, and head off, then buried them under the floorboards. Based on the evidence
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For instance, “I made up my mind to take the life of the old man.”(Poe, 1843) This declares that the narrator made the decision, in advance, to kill the innocent old man, proving he committed first degree murder. Not only did he state that he wanted to murder the old man, he also affirmed that “every night, about midnight, I turned the latch of his door and opened it.”(Poe, 1843) Despite having entered the victim’s room for 8 nights and planning the kill, the murderer did not plan the exact moment he would strike him until the old man opened his eye.”It was open-wide,wide open-and I grew more furious as I gazed upon it”(Poe,1843). In that moment, the narrator decided how he would murder the old man without it being schemed. However, while he had not predetermined his method of attack, he did know where he would hide the old man’s body after the event. For those reasons, the murder would be considered ‘first degree’. To back up this verdict, the narrator also states “I cut off the head and the arms and the legs… I then took up three planks from the flooring of the chamber and deposited all between the floorboards.” (Poe, 1843)The narrator killed the man callously and without remorse. Cleary, the murderer must be sentenced to prison after the gruesome atrocity he committed. Not to mention the perpetrator gloated about how prudent and acute he was. “No stain of any kind-no-blood…show more content…
His justification for the crime shows clear instability“I loved the old man. He had never wronged me… For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye!”(Poe,1843) This shows that he is mentally ill because he had no real reason or prior experiences with the man to explain why he murdered him except for that he had an ‘evil eye’. Additionally, his mental illness caused him to hear voices and sounds for example “I heard things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell.”(Poe,1843) With this in mind, it is necessary for him to be placed in care with proper medical supervision. Granted, the elderly man’s death was premeditated, but due to the outlined mitigating circumstances the narrator should not be executed. To further prove how the narrator was delusional the author wrote“My head ached, and I fancied a ringing in my ears… it 's the beating of his hideous heart.”(Poe, 1843) The author used the old man’s heart as a way to express his guilt and anxiety. Furthermore, as the police sat comfortably in the house, the fictitious heartbeat of the killers victim rang out in his head. On the whole this is significant because being mentally ill can make you commit crimes without comprehending the
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