Characterization In The Tell Tale Heart

Decent Essays
“The Tell-Tale Heart” is a short story by Edgar Allen Poe. In this short story there is a protagonist who is never named. He lives with an old man and eventually plots and kills the old man. Throughout the story the protagonist changes and the reader is able to read along and follow his development. The story’s events affect the protagonist and test his mental health and sanity, where as his actions characterize him as a psychopath and murderer. At the beginning of this story the protagonist mentions “Why will you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses --not destroyed --not dulled them” (Poe 37). Now the reader knows that he is sick, but is unsure if he is really mad and has lost his sanity. He seems to be arguing that he …show more content…
The protagonist, already planned to kill the old man, pretends to be friendly and caring. This shows that he can be untrustworthy, deceitful, and two-faced. If he needed to he would be able to lie and deceive anyone for his benefit. As he stalks the old man in his sleep the protagonist makes sure to be as slow as possible to avoid being noticed. This shows that he has patience and obedience. He also goes to the old man’s room every night at the same time which is scheduled and shows that he is organized and punctual. The protagonist can also be described as intelligent. He is able to kill the old man, perfectly hide his body, and cover his tracks. When the police officers come to his house, he ends up sitting down with them at a table and indulging in a normal conversation. This shows he is confident, because he can talk to complete strangers. He is also sociable and able to normally be involved with other people. The fact that he was able to kill the old man and have no remorse or second thoughts about it characterizes him as a psychopath, and a murderer. The protagonist in Edgar Allen Poe’s short story “The Tell-Tale Heart” goes through certain events which lead his to insanity and madness. He’s mental health and sanity is tested throughout the whole story, and he eventually fails and loses his mind. His actions prove him to be a capable normal person who can succeed in life, but in the end his actions characterize him as a psychopath and murderer who will be confined away from the lives of normal

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