The Tell-Tale Heart

A Poem By Edgar Allan Poe

Beginning

The narrator talks about how he loves the old man and how we has never wronged him.

"I think it was his eye! Yes, it was this! One of his eyes resembled that of a vulture- a pale blue eye, with film over it." The narrator continues to talk about how he hates the eye. Then he makes a plan, a plan to kill the old man.

Middle

The narrator continues to talk of how he is going to kill the old man. "And every night, about midnight, I turned the latch of his door and opened it --oh so gently!" The narrator explains about how he goes into the old man's bedroom at midnight every night. He talks about how he shines the light on the old man's eye but his eye is never open. Until one night it did. This troubled the narrator, so he decided it was time for him to kill the old man. He smothers the old man, and the old man lets out a shriek. The narrator pulls planks up from the floor and hides the body inside of it, places the planks back on the floor, and cleans the mess.
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Ending

The police arrive at the old man's house to investigate after receiving a call that someone heard a shriek from his house. The narrator confidently lets them inside the house thinking he will get away with murder. "I smiled, --for what had I to fear?" The police search and do not find anything, so the narrator asks them to stay and have a drink. As the police talk louder and louder, and as they stay for so long, the narrator hears the sound of the old man's heartbeat. He ignores it for awhile until he reaches his breaking point. The noise makes him so nervous that he spills! He tells the police everything, about how he killed the man by smothering him, he shows them where his body is, and the story ends.
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