famous poetry
| Famous Poetry | Roleplay | Free Video Tutorials | Online Poetry Club | Free Education | Best of Youtube | Ear Training

The Tell-Tale Heart Analysis



Author: Prose of Edgar Allen Poe Type: Prose Views: 10182

TRUE! --nervous --very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses --not destroyed --not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How, then, am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily --how calmly I can tell you the whole story.
It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain; but once conceived, it haunted me day and night. Object there was none. Passion there was none. I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye! yes, it was this! He had the eye of a vulture --a pale blue eye, with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees --very gradually --I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever.
Now this is the point. You fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me. You should have seen how wisely I proceeded --with what caution --with what foresight --with what dissimulation I went to work! I was never kinder to the old man than during the whole week before I killed him. And every night, about midnight, I turned the latch of his door and opened it --oh so gently! And then, when I had made an opening sufficient for my head, I put in a dark lantern, all closed, closed, that no light shone out, and then I thrust in my head. Oh, you would have laughed to see how cunningly I thrust it in! I moved it slowly --very, very slowly, so that I might not disturb the old man's sleep. It took me an hour to place my whole head within the opening so far that I could see him as he lay upon his bed. Ha! would a madman have been so wise as this, And then, when my head was well in the room, I undid the lantern cautiously-oh, so cautiously --cautiously (for the hinges creaked) --I undid it just so much that a single thin ray fell upon the vulture eye. And this I did for seven long nights --every night just at midnight --but I found the eye always closed; and so it was impossible to do the work; for it was not the old man who vexed me, but his Evil Eye. And every morning, when the day broke, I went boldly into the chamber, and spoke courageously to him, calling him by name in a hearty tone, and inquiring how he has passed the night. So you see he would have been a very profound old man, indeed, to suspect that every night, just at twelve, I looked in upon him while he slept.
Upon the eighth night I was more than usually cautious in opening the door. A watch's minute hand moves more quickly than did mine. Never before that night had I felt the extent of my own powers --of my sagacity. I could scarcely contain my feelings of triumph. To think that there I was, opening the door, little by little, and he not even to dream of my secret deeds or thoughts. I fairly chuckled at the idea; and perhaps he heard me; for he moved on the bed suddenly, as if startled. Now you may think that I drew back --but no. His room was as black as pitch with the thick darkness, (for the shutters were close fastened, through fear of robbers,) and so I knew that he could not see the opening of the door, and I kept pushing it on steadily, steadily.
I had my head in, and was about to open the lantern, when my thumb slipped upon the tin fastening, and the old man sprang up in bed, crying out --"Who's there?"
I kept quite still and said nothing. For a whole hour I did not move a muscle, and in the meantime I did not hear him lie down. He was still sitting up in the bed listening; --just as I have done, night after night, hearkening to the death watches in the wall.
Presently I heard a slight groan, and I knew it was the groan of mortal terror. It was not a groan of pain or of grief --oh, no! --it was the low stifled sound that arises from the bottom of the soul when overcharged with awe. I knew the sound well. Many a night, just at midnight, when all the world slept, it has welled up from my own bosom, deepening, with its dreadful echo, the terrors that distracted me. I say I knew it well. I knew what the old man felt, and pitied him, although I chuckled at heart. I knew that he had been lying awake ever since the first slight noise, when he had turned in the bed. His fears had been ever since growing upon him. He had been trying to fancy them causeless, but could not. He had been saying to himself --"It is nothing but the wind in the chimney --it is only a mouse crossing the floor," or "It is merely a cricket which has made a single chirp." Yes, he had been trying to comfort himself with these suppositions: but he had found all in vain. All in vain; because Death, in approaching him had stalked with his black shadow before him, and enveloped the victim. And it was the mournful influence of the unperceived shadow that caused him to feel --although he neither saw nor heard --to feel the presence of my head within the room.
When I had waited a long time, very patiently, without hearing him lie down, I resolved to open a little --a very, very little crevice in the lantern. So I opened it --you cannot imagine how stealthily, stealthily --until, at length a simple dim ray, like the thread of the spider, shot from out the crevice and fell full upon the vulture eye.
It was open --wide, wide open --and I grew furious as I gazed upon it. I saw it with perfect distinctness --all a dull blue, with a hideous veil over it that chilled the very marrow in my bones; but I could see nothing else of the old man's face or person: for I had directed the ray as if by instinct, precisely upon the damned spot.
And have I not told you that what you mistake for madness is but over-acuteness of the sense? --now, I say, there came to my ears a low, dull, quick sound, such as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I knew that sound well, too. It was the beating of the old man's heart. It increased my fury, as the beating of a drum stimulates the soldier into courage.
But even yet I refrained and kept still. I scarcely breathed. I held the lantern motionless. I tried how steadily I could maintain the ray upon the eve. Meantime the hellish tattoo of the heart increased. It grew quicker and quicker, and louder and louder every instant. The old man's terror must have been extreme! It grew louder, I say, louder every moment! --do you mark me well I have told you that I am nervous: so I am. And now at the dead hour of the night, amid the dreadful silence of that old house, so strange a noise as this excited me to uncontrollable terror. Yet, for some minutes longer I refrained and stood still. But the beating grew louder, louder! I thought the heart must burst. And now a new anxiety seized me --the sound would be heard by a neighbour! The old man's hour had come! With a loud yell, I threw open the lantern and leaped into the room. He shrieked once --once only. In an instant I dragged him to the floor, and pulled the heavy bed over him. I then smiled gaily, to find the deed so far done. But, for many minutes, the heart beat on with a muffled sound. This, however, did not vex me; it would not be heard through the wall. At length it ceased. The old man was dead. I removed the bed and examined the corpse. Yes, he was stone, stone dead. I placed my hand upon the heart and held it there many minutes. There was no pulsation. He was stone dead. His eve would trouble me no more.
If still you think me mad, you will think so no longer when I describe the wise precautions I took for the concealment of the body. The night waned, and I worked hastily, but in silence. First of all I dismembered the corpse. 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 scantlings. I then replaced the boards so cleverly, so cunningly, that no human eye --not even his --could have detected any thing wrong. There was nothing to wash out --no stain of any kind --no blood-spot whatever. I had been too wary for that. A tub had caught all --ha! ha!
When I had made an end of these labors, it was four o'clock --still dark as midnight. As the bell sounded the hour, there came a knocking at the street door. I went down to open it with a light heart, --for what had I now to fear? There entered three men, who introduced themselves, with perfect suavity, as officers of the police. A shriek had been heard by a neighbour during the night; suspicion of foul play had been aroused; information had been lodged at the police office, and they (the officers) had been deputed to search the premises.
I smiled, --for what had I to fear? I bade the gentlemen welcome. The shriek, I said, was my own in a dream. The old man, I mentioned, was absent in the country. I took my visitors all over the house. I bade them search --search well. I led them, at length, to his chamber. I showed them his treasures, secure, undisturbed. In the enthusiasm of my confidence, I brought chairs into the room, and desired them here to rest from their fatigues, while I myself, in the wild audacity of my perfect triumph, placed my own seat upon the very spot beneath which reposed the corpse of the victim.
The officers were satisfied. My manner had convinced them. I was singularly at ease. They sat, and while I answered cheerily, they chatted of familiar things. But, ere long, I felt myself getting pale and wished them gone. My head ached, and I fancied a ringing in my ears: but still they sat and still chatted. The ringing became more distinct: --It continued and became more distinct: I talked more freely to get rid of the feeling: but it continued and gained definiteness --until, at length, I found that the noise was not within my ears.
No doubt I now grew very pale; --but I talked more fluently, and with a heightened voice. Yet the sound increased --and what could I do? It was a low, dull, quick sound --much such a sound as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I gasped for breath --and yet the officers heard it not. I talked more quickly --more vehemently; but the noise steadily increased. I arose and argued about trifles, in a high key and with violent gesticulations; but the noise steadily increased. Why would they not be gone? I paced the floor to and fro with heavy strides, as if excited to fury by the observations of the men --but the noise steadily increased. Oh God! what could I do? I foamed --I raved --I swore! I swung the chair upon which I had been sitting, and grated it upon the boards, but the noise arose over all and continually increased. It grew louder --louder --louder! And still the men chatted pleasantly, and smiled. Was it possible they heard not? Almighty God! --no, no! They heard! --they suspected! --they knew! --they were making a mockery of my horror!-this I thought, and this I think. But anything was better than this agony! Anything was more tolerable than this derision! I could bear those hypocritical smiles no longer! I felt that I must scream or die! and now --again! --hark! louder! louder! louder! louder!
"Villains!" I shrieked, "dissemble no more! I admit the deed! --tear up the planks! here, here! --It is the beating of his hideous heart!"





Sponsor


122 Free Video Tutorials

[Video Tutorial] How to build google chrome extensions

Please add me on youtube. I make free educational video tutorials on youtube such as Basic HTML and CSS.

Free Online Education from Top Universities

Yes! It's true. Online College Education is now free!



||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

.: :.

That one guest who was trying to make someone else sound stupid is an idiot. He didn\'t tell the cops there was no noise, he said that he made the noise because of a bad dream. And the police came in the middle of the night as soon as he finished cleaning up.

| Posted on 2011-05-31 | by a guest


.: :.

This story relates to his experience that traumatized him since he was three involving the Old Man.

| Posted on 2010-10-09 | by a guest


.: :.

Poe is not insane or a madman! He is a great writer. How you ask can I say that? Well I read books for entertainment and I truly enjoy a book or short story that can grab a hold of me and not let go till I\'ve read the whole thing. By my standards, Poe and more specifically the tell-tale heart shows that he (Poe) truly is a great entertainer and a great read.

| Posted on 2010-10-06 | by a guest


.: :.

I feel that as Poe's finest work, the figurative language suggests that this vivid story is not in fact about the old man's vulture like eye, but in fact about jizzing.

| Posted on 2010-06-16 | by a guest


.: :.

It is supposed to be sick... have you not read anything else Poe?

| Posted on 2010-04-22 | by a guest


.: :.

This is Sick. I cannot believe someone would write about this.

| Posted on 2010-03-22 | by a guest


.: :.

it tell that, the myth in sociaty, if a mad man done a bad thing is a forgiuceable act. but if it done by sanity people, it's unforgivable.

| Posted on 2009-12-08 | by a guest


.: :.

This is a very powerful & meaningful mesage. No matter how hard you try to make yourself seem sane, you arn't.

| Posted on 2009-08-30 | by a guest


.: :.

Edgar Allan Poe’s skillful writing allows the reader to sympathize with the narrator’s miserable state despite fully recognizing that he is guilty by reason of insanity.

| Posted on 2009-07-28 | by a guest


.: :.

I love this. I think it captures so much feeling. I have read it cloes to a dozen times.

| Posted on 2009-05-19 | by a guest


.: :.

Poe uses this story to dramatize his relations with the audience. Poe has set himself up to be criticized by others at his own will with his writings. Just as the narrator from the story plans his perfect plot but gives himself up towards the end.

| Posted on 2009-04-22 | by a guest


.: :.

You are a bad speller. It is prove not proof. And the way he tries to prove himself sane makes himself look and sound insane and shows he is guilty when he tears up the planks in the floor revealing the dismembered body. At the beginning, the narrator believes people think he is insane so he is trying his best to explain his sensible plan and that he is definately not crazy. He is explaining nervously and crazily. Throughout the story, the narrator goes to the old man's house and carefully looks in at the old man to see him resting for 8 whole nights. On the eighth night, the old man had awakened at the slightest sound of the deathwatches. He told himself it was just a mere cricket. He sat up all night. The narrator decides to get the lantern and look into the old man's room to find the evil vulture eye that vexed him. Immediately he had the power and will to kill the old man. He suffocates him with a mattress and dismembers him and puts up under the floorboards. The following morning the police arrive because the neighbors had reported a shriek coming from the night before. The narrator was over-confident and had a chat with the police saying there was no such noise. The narrator now gets nervous and thinks he hears the old man's heartbeat and believes the policemen hear it as well. Right then and there he admits to the crime he has commited and tears up the floorboards.

| Posted on 2009-02-05 | by a guest


.: :.

The narrator wants to proof his sanity and by the way he tries to he proofs his insanity and guilty. The way he wants to proof his sanity is by explaining his deeds to show how rationally he acted to do an irrational act. Now you see having such an irrational plan shows the madness even though you put it with rationality into action. Even the protagonist admits the deed’s irrationality for there was no reason to do it and so the murdering shows his madness although he wants to see the opposite..

| Posted on 2008-04-07 | by a guest




Post your Analysis




Message

Free Online Education from Top Universities

Yes! It's true. College Education is now free!







Most common keywords

The Tell-Tale Heart Analysis Edgar Allen Poe critical analysis of poem, review school overview. Analysis of the poem. literary terms. Definition terms. Why did he use? short summary describing. The Tell-Tale Heart Analysis Edgar Allen Poe Characters archetypes. Sparknotes bookrags the meaning summary overview critique of explanation pinkmonkey. Quick fast explanatory summary. pinkmonkey free cliffnotes cliffnotes ebook pdf doc file essay summary literary terms analysis professional definition summary synopsis sinopsis interpretation critique The Tell-Tale Heart Analysis Edgar Allen Poe itunes audio book mp4 mp3 mit ocw Online Education homework forum help



Poetry 85
Poetry 185
Poetry 9
Poetry 115
Poetry 94
Poetry 52
Poetry 91
Poetry 206
Poetry 103
Poetry 60
Poetry 88
Poetry 88
Poetry 24
Poetry 147
Poetry 76
Poetry 88
Poetry 99
Poetry 140
Poetry 21
Poetry 197