The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe

The Tell-Tale Heart book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What is the tone of "The Tell-Tale Heart"?

Expert Answers info

Newell Kautzer eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2018

write697 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

The tone of Edgar Allen Poe's famous short story "The Tell-Tale Heart" is one of an unhinged excitement by the narrator as he explains how he murders his housemate. Additionally, the narration also carries a tone of desperation as the narrator attempts to justify why he had to kill the old, harmless man. As the narrator recounts the events leading up to his decision to kill the old man, the process of killing him, and the events of the police searching the house, the tone reflects the changes of events. With this recounting, the narrator's voice shifts from a more cunning excitement to a cruel enjoyment of recounting the murder to one of absolute desperation and panic as the narrator can not get the sound of the old man's heart beating out of his frenzied and guilty mind.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Laurine Herzog eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2019

write1,199 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Science

For much of this macabre story the narrator's tone seems boastful and proud. He is pleased with how carefully, and with what discipline he has carried out the murder of the old man.

"You should have seen how wisely I...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 665 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Elizabeth Stover, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12), Professional Writer

bookM.A. from Concordia University

bookM.S. from The University of Texas at Arlington


calendarEducator since 2015

write268 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial