Poe, Edgar Allen. "The Tell-Tale Heart." Retellings: A Thematic Literature Anthology. Eds. Clarke, M.B. and A.G. Clarke. Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2004. 404-407.
The narrator of "The Tell-Tale Heart" insists that he is not mad, but his actions and narrative voice seem to indicate otherwise. What evidence of madness do you find in his behavior? His style? As you are thinking about the latter, you might want to pay special attention to the metaphors he uses and to the sounds and rhythms of his sentences.
In "The Tell-Tale Heart" Poe demonstrates, potentially, what is portrayed as a victim of a mental illness. The narrator of the story however constantly reminds us that he is not mad, "How, then, am I mad?" (404) His claim that he is in a perfect mental state is countered by the mysterious events that seem to be happening to only him.
The setting of the story is one to take into consideration. Most obviously it is being told in the past tense form from the first person view. It is from the killer's perspective. While reading the story, one could picture a shriveled criminal in a padded cell repeating his case and opinion to no one but the air that surrounds him. His madness and persistence of innocence is the only thing driving him. The behavior exampled in Poe's story is quite odd in some circumstances. Beginning with the second paragraph the killer describes his fondness for the old man "I loved the old man," (404); the second half of the paragraph he described yet how he hates the old man's eye and wishes to get rid of it forever through death, "I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of...