Give two examples to show how the rhythm of the sentence in parts of poe's "Tell Tale Heart " is meant to imitate the beating of the heart .

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Like his famous rhythmic poems, "The Bells" and "The Raven," Edgar Allan Poe uses this device to emulate the beating heart in his famed horror short story, "The Tell-Tale Heart." After the narrator kills the old man with the evil eye and buries him in pieces beneath his floor, he believes he still hears the heart beating. Poe gives the reader the ability to feel the heart beat by his rhythmic use of words in the final paragraphs.

  • I foamed—I raved—I swore! I swung the chair...
  • It grew louder—louder—louder!
  • Almighty God!—no, no! They heard!—they suspected!—they knew!—
  • now—again!—hark! louder! louder! louder! louder!
  •  I admit the deed!—tear up the planks! here, here!—

The "up, down, up, down" rhythms are consistent with that of a beating heart or a ticking clock.

mkcapen1 | Student
In Edgar Allen Poe's "The Tell Tale Heart" the man is explaining to the reader that he is not mad. He is quite sane. The reader develops anxiety as the story progresses. The man's nervousness envelops the reader as the lines continue. Towards the end of the story the man is entertaining the police when he hears the heart beating louder and louder. The beating of the heart is sounded through the man's words. "I foamed -- I raved -- I swore" "Almighty God! -- no, no? They heard! -- they suspected! -- they KNEW!" "hark! louder! louder! louder! LOUDER! --" The three sentences above illustrate the manner in which Poe used words to demonstrate the beating of the heart as it sounded through the man's mind.
Read the study guide:
The Tell-Tale Heart

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