The theme of ¨The Tell-Tale Heart" , a gothic fiction story by Edgar Allan Poe, is to not commit a crime because your guilty conscience could drive you insane. In paragraph 18, he states, "Villians!" I shrieked, "dissemble no more! I admit the deed!— tear up the planks!—here, here!—it is the beating of his hideous heart!” This shows that when he killed him the guilt ran over him like a truck proving not to commit any crimes. Another example before that is, "It was a low, dull, quick sound —much such a sound as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I gasped for breath—and yet the officers heard it not. I talked more quickly—more vehemently; but the noise steadily increased. I arose and argued about trifles, in a high key and with violent gesticulations, but the noise steadily increased. Why would they not be gone? I paced the floor to and fro with heavy strides, as if excited to fury by the observations of the men—but the noise steadily increased. Oh God! what could I do? I foamed —I raved—I swore! I swung the chair upon which I had been sitting, and grated it upon the boards, but the noise arose over all and continually increased. It grew louder—louder— louder! And still the men chatted pleasantly, and smiled. Was it possible they heard not? Almighty God!— no, no! They heard!—they suspected!—they knew! —they were making a mockery of my horror!—this I thought, and this I think. But any thing was better than this agony! Any thing was more tolerable than this derision! I could bear those hypocritical smiles no longer! I felt that I must scream or die!—and now—again— hark! louder! louder! louder! louder! —" This also shows the sign of guilt that came upon him when the old man's heartkept beating.