Poetry Analysis Essay on The Tell-Tale Heart: A Deceptive Narrator's Guise of Innocence

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1566 Words
Date:  2023-02-26


According to the poem The Tell-Tale Heart, the protagonist is the narrator of the art, he is depicted as a nice person but it is all spilled when he committed murder. He was able to hide his innocence. The protagonist from the beginning he was a good guy, a blameless person completely who was seen a good man, as what he did was the only possible solution to any person who was in that state. The protagonist wanted the people to believe that he was courageous and brave. He is not definitely the hero in the poem but we can't like him in reference to the Tale of the heart it does not definitely show clearly the insane murderer as a hero (Tucker, 2015).

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The antagonist, as depicted in the art is the old man. He is described as the man with evil eyes according by the protagonist. It is through the looks of his eyes that gets him described as the antagonist. The old man stays in his lane and minimizes conflict and grudges in the narrator's way of life. Also, the old man, through his eyes was not actively contending with the narrator (Tucker, 2015). The protagonist believes that hearing the beating of old man is the same as listening to his own conscience while he takes away his own sanity. The narrator is a ruthless murder, in this case the crowd is expected to refer to the protagonist although traditionally he is thought to be a champion.

One of the main themes in the "The Tell-Tale Heart" is the theme of insane verses sane. In the introduction of the first sentence, the protagonist says" True!-nervous-very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am but why will you say that am mad" (Poe, 311).The more the persona convinces the crowd that he is sane, the clearer it becomes to the people that he is indeed an insane man. When he narrates the story of the old man that he killed, he tells it with confidence and remorseless. The protagonist says in his retelling that he had no grudges with the old man nor did he want his wealth .He says the reason why he murdered the old man is that one of the antagonist one eye which was pale with a film on it, it resembled an eye of a vulture.

Decisions which he made were irrational and his judgments were out of context. The narrator's sanity become the main question when he admitted that he is responsible for the police's death. The narrator behaves more and more erratically by saying "about trifles in the key and the violence manner" this becomes a clear indication that the narrator has lost control of his minds, and it might have been clear to the officers all along. In conclusion, the insanity of the narrator as to why he is not insane, is the fact that his actions bring out the narrative of the evil deeds he committed (Poe, 2017).

The tale illustrates the main theme of guilt from a murder. The fear of loss and control of what the future upholds is the main aspect evident. The protagonist says that the real villain is the beating heart and the armed forces. The protagonist says "Villians! I shrieked, Dissemble no more! I admit the deed! -tear up the planks! Here, here! -it is the beating from the hidden heart!" The innocence affects the psychological feeling of the heart and internally which results when the protagonist admitted his crimes. The man is fixed on the actions he did. With extreme care but at the end his pride makes him to admit his deed.

The theme of mortality is evident in the Tale of Heart. The poem is a murder mystery. The old man whom the protagonist dislikes his eyes which are pale blue like those of a vulture, causes distress to the narrator so much until he plots murder even if he insisted that he loved the old man. The narrator denies the fact that him committing murder is not the act of insane. For the last seven days he had visited the old man's house, in order to shine a sliver of light onto the "evil eye." The old man's eye is always closed making it difficult to "do the work" The narrator also dismembers the corpse and conceals the pieces under the floorboards and ensures the concealment of signs of crime.

The fear of death prevails through the protagonist claims as he says that he can still hear the old man's heart breathing. The poem is about sadness and mourning over the merciless death of the antagonist. The critics that the plans to commit suicide after he tells the story. The fear of death becomes evident when the narrator admits that the scream heard was the narrator's own nightmares as he was haunts by the old man's during sleep when he notices a ringing in their ears which terrified the protagonist this makes him break up and confesses for the murder.

Time is a consistence theme in the Tell Tale of Heart and a motif throughout the story. The protagonist seems to be fixated with time. Based on his catalogue makes it clear on how long time he spends watching the old man before he murdered him. After he had killed the old man, the protagonist claims that the man's "hour had come". In addition, also the sound contributes greatly to the theme of time. He hears "death beetles," referring to type of beetle that sounds lick ticking of a clock in the walls. He hears the watch ticking away and also the old man heart beating.

When the narrator made the end of the labors, it was about four o'clock - still dark as the midnight. As the bells sounded the hour. Through there estimated durations, theme of times becomes clear, as based on all events occurred in series. In comparing the heartbeat to the sound of the ticking of the wall, aids in creating a link between death and time. it is likened to the ticking of biological clock where each and every single click brings individuals closer to death. Thus, it makes individuals aware that the their lifetime events is timed.

Another prevailing theme in the short story of The Tale Tell of heart is self-destruction. This theme is evident through the protagonist desire to destroy the eye of the old man's which were pale blue in color. The narrator is also trying destroying everything that he dislikes about himself. His ways of destroying continue into the end when he finally admits to the crimes, he committed to the police officers. He also destroys himself by subjecting himself to the law .in which led to his freedom being taken away and liberty to live among his people. It becomes evident there is theme of self-destruction.

The Tell Tale of Heart has proven and focused on destroying the eye. The constant, unwanted surveillance of a loving father. Although the relation between the narrator and the old man is not a clearly depicted in the art, it can be indicated that it was a father and son relationship where the old man is the father and the narrator is the son. Poe intentionally and thoughtfully created the art to illustrate the complexity of the human mind and motives. This supposedly testified an underlying urge to punish his own misdeeds by projecting them the poem illuminate the interior of the self, the powers and the processes of mind (Holland, 2016). The narrator was ready to take the consequences of his sins of murdering the old, that's he confessed betraying the inners self of himself.

The prevailing theme of crime and punishment states which is evident in the tell-tale of the heart, it stated that every person who commits a crime and tries to cover it up can neither escape the punishment nor be pardoned. The story makes it clear that the truth cannot be contained and the guilt always dominates on one's way of truth or lies. The narrator's freedom and liberty were to be taken from him, when he admitted that he had killed the old man (Gale, 2016). Therefore, it brings about a conflict between the antagonist who wanted to escape his murder actions, whereas the old man needed to avenge him. It also leads to tension between them and the people too.


In conclusion, there is conflict and tension between the protagonist who is the narrator, and the antagonist who is the old man with evil eyes. It is evident through the comments of the old man when he ironically claims that he did not kill the police. He despises the old man because his eyes made him look like a bad person who can kill his fellow human beings. therefore, through the conflict between these characters, the poem depicts the themes of mortality and the fear that it instills in the people. Also, crime and punishment are evident throughout the art where every wrong deed should be punished.


Gale, C. L. (2016). A Study Guide for Edgar Allan Poe's" Tell-Tale Heart". Gale, Cengage Learning.

Holland, D. G. (2016). The Tell-Tale Heart.

Poe, E. A. (2017). The Tell-Tale Heart-The Short Stories of Edgar Allan Poe (Fantasy and Horror Classics). Read Books Ltd.

Tucker, B. D. (2015). The Tell-Tale Heart" and the" Evil Eye. The Southern Literary Journal, 13(2), 92-99.

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Poetry Analysis Essay on The Tell-Tale Heart: A Deceptive Narrator's Guise of Innocence. (2023, Feb 26). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/poetry-analysis-essay-on-the-tell-tale-heart-a-deceptive-narrators-guise-of-innocence

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