The Tell-Tale Heart

The Tell-Tale Heart
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Storyboard Text

  • "It's true!  Yes, I have been ill, very ill. But why do you say that I have lost control of my mind, why do say that I'm mad? Can you not see that I have full control of my mind?  Is it not clear that I'm not mad?"
  • Exposition
  • "When the old man looked at me with his vulture eye a cold feeling went up and down my back; even my blood became cold.  And so I finally decided I had to kill the old man and close the eye forever."
  • Conflict
  • "Every night about twelve o' clock I slowly opened his door. .... For seven nights I did this, seven long nights, every night after midnight.  Always the eye was closed, so it was impossible for me to do the work. ......" "The eighth night I was more than usually careful as I opened the door.  ........ Suddenly the old man sat straight up in bed and cried, "Who's there??!"  I stood quite still.  For a whole hour, I did not move."  
  • Rising Action
  • "The time had come! I rushed into the room, crying, " Die! Die!" The old man gave a loud cry of fear as I fell upon him and held the bedcovers tightly over his head.  For many minutes that heart continued to beat; but at last, the beating stopped.  I took away the bedcovers and held my ear over his heart.  There was no sound. Yes. He was dead!"
  • Climax
  • "Three men were at the door, three officers of the police.  One of the neighbors had heard the old man's cry and had called the police; these three had come to ask questions and to search the house. ... My easy, quiet manner made the policeman believe my story. ... My head hurt and there was a strange sound in my ears. ... Suddenly I knew that the sound was not in my head.  ... Was it possible that they did not hear?  No! They heard! I was certain of it.  They knew! Now it was they who were playing a game with me.."
  • Falling Action
  • Resolution
  • "Yes! Yes, I killed him.  Pull up the boards and you shall see! I killed him.  But why does his heart not stop beating?! Why does it not stop?!"
  • Bump-Bump
  • "Then, in that case, you're under arrest!"
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