The American composer Dominick Argento wrote an opera, based on the death of Poe.
He says that he is going to tell a story in which he will defend his sanity yet confess to having killed an old man.
Again, he insists that he is not crazy because his cool and measured actions, though criminal, are not those of a madman. In the morning, he would behave as if everything were normal. After a week of this activity, the narrator decides, somewhat randomly, that the time is right actually to kill the old man.
When the narrator arrives late on the eighth night, though, the old man wakes up and cries out. The narrator remains still, stalking the old man as he sits awake and frightened. The narrator understands how frightened the old man is, having also experienced the lonely terrors of the night.
Worried that a neighbor might hear the loud thumping, he attacks and kills the old man. He then dismembers the body and hides the pieces below the floorboards in the bedroom.
He is careful not to leave even a drop of blood on the floor. As he finishes his job, a clock strikes the hour of four. At the same time, the narrator hears a knock at the street door.
The police have arrived, having been called by a neighbor who heard the old man shriek. The narrator is careful to be chatty and to appear normal. He leads the officers all over the house without acting suspiciously. The policemen do not suspect a thing. The narrator is comfortable until he starts to hear a low thumping sound.
He recognizes the low sound as the heart of the old man, pounding away beneath the floorboards. He panics, believing that the policemen must also hear the sound and know his guilt. Driven mad by the idea that they are mocking his agony with their pleasant chatter, he confesses to the crime and shrieks at the men to rip up the floorboards.
Even Poe himself, like the beating heart, is complicit in the plot to catch the narrator in his evil game. As a study in paranoia, this story illuminates the psychological contradictions that contribute to a murderous profile.
For example, the narrator admits, in the first sentence, to being dreadfully nervous, yet he is unable to comprehend why he should be thought mad. He articulates his self-defense against madness in terms of heightened sensory capacity.
This special knowledge enables the narrator to tell this tale in a precise and complete manner, and he uses the stylistic tools of narration for the purposes of his own sanity plea.
However, what makes this narrator mad—and most unlike Poe—is that he fails to comprehend the coupling of narrative form and content. He masters precise form, but he unwittingly lays out a tale of murder that betrays the madness he wants to deny.
Poe explores here a psychological mystery—that people sometimes harm those whom they love or need in their lives.
Poe examines this paradox half a century before Sigmund Freud made it a leading concept in his theories of the mind. The narrator thus eliminates motives that might normally inspire such a violent murder.
He reduces the old man to the pale blue of his eye in obsessive fashion. The narrator sees the eye as completely separate from the man, and as a result, he is capable of murdering him while maintaining that he loves him. By dismembering his victim, the narrator further deprives the old man of his humanity.This Close Reading Unit, focusing on the short story, "The Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allan Poe, is perfect to use for a Halloween lesson.
Included you will find. THE TELL-TALE HEART by Edgar Allan Poe 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. The influence of Edgar Allan Poe on the art of music has been considerable and long-standing, with the works, life and image of the horror fiction writer and poet inspiring composers and musicians from diverse genres for more than a century. Dark Tales: Edgar Allan Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart Collector's Edition for iPad, iPhone, Android, Mac & PC!
A scream in the night a brutal crime a mysterious figure with eyes red as blood. Can you get to the heart of this shocking murder?! Edgar Allan Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart" study guide by chelseabailey19 includes 16 questions covering vocabulary, terms and more.
Quizlet flashcards, activities and games help you improve your grades. Edgar Allan Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart" When reading a story of this nature, one must be reminded not to take horror in Poe too autobiographically.
The narrator's "nervousness" is a frequently used device of Poe to establish tone and plausibility through heightened states of consciousness.