The Tell Tale Heart

The Tell Tale Heart

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Storyboard Text

  • Exposition
  • "You fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing."
  • Rising Action One
  • It is not this man who has wronged me, but rather his evil eye. i MUST WAIT TO KILL him.
  • Rising Action Two
  • A neighbor will hear his heartbeat! I must do something and quickly!
  • The story takes place in an old man's house, specifically in his bedroom. It starts with the narrator/antagonist telling the reader that he is not mad, but rather dreadfully nervous and diseased. He informs the reader about how he killed the old man and how calmly he can tell the whole story...
  • Climax
  •  For seven days at around midnight, the narrator would sneak his head into the old man's room in an attempt to glimpse at the man's evil vulture eye. He would open his lantern, and shine a single ray of light onto the old man's eyelid. If it were not open, then the narrator could not kill him. Then every morning, he would ask the the old man how he slept to see if he suspected anything. This builds suspense in the story.
  • Falling Action
  • On the eighth night, the narrator peeks into the room and tells us how he is slightly more cautious than usual. In contradiction to this, his finger slips while opening the lantern and he wakes the old man. The old man shouts "Who's there?" They then have an hour stand off, neither moving an inch. The neighbor then starts hearing a low, dull, quick sound and believes it to be the beating of the old man's heartbeat, but it is actually his own. This is symbolism for the narrator's anxiety.
  • Resolution
  • When the narrator thought that the sound would be heard by a neighbor, he couldn't contain himself, and he leaped into the room. The old man shrieked only once before the narrator smothered him in his own mattress.
  • "REE!"
  • After the narrator kills the old man, he hurriedly gets to work. He brought the old man into the bathtub and dismembered his body parts. After they were all separated, he washes away the blood. Then he hides them under the floorboards in the old man's room. Later, the police arrive because a neighbor heard a scream. He insists it was his own and allows the officers to search the house well. When he invites them to sit after their search, he hears a heartbeat thought to be the old man's and begins to panic.
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