"The Tell-Tale Heart" is a story of madness and passion that depicts the darkness of human nature. Do you agree? Give maximum 10 reasons."The Tell-Tale Heart" is a story by Edgar Allen Poe.

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Madness and the dark side of human nature certainly seem to be two of the major themes of Poe's classic short story. I've included some examples below.

  • The murderer tries to explain to the reader that his careful plans are not a sign of madness, but his actions suggest otherwise.
  • The narrator claims to hear things that emit from unearthly sources.
  • The narrator claims that he has no specific reason to kill the old man other than his "vulture eye."
  • His careful preparation to kill the man in his sleep shows a dark side of the man's character.
  • The dismemberment of the body is a particularly gruesome task that could only have been carried out by a man filled with either mental instability or pure evil.
  • His belief that he can still hear the heart beating is further proof of madness. 

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