The Tell-Tale Heart

The Tell-Tale Heart

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Storyboard Text

  • Exposition
  • I hate his vulture eye!
  • Rising Action 1
  • Is the eye open?
  • Rising Action 2
  • A neighbor is going to hear his heartbeat!
  • Who's there?
  • The setting of our story is the old man's house, specifically the old man's bedroom. The antagonist of the story is the narrator. The narrator tells the reader that he loved the old man, and only wanted to kill him because of his "vulture eye".
  • Climax
  • The narrator wants to prove to the reader that he is not insane. Before the murder, the narrator, who was the old man's caretaker, told the reader that he was kind to the old man for a week before the murder. At twelve o'clock each night, the narrator would maneuver his head into the old man's room to look in on him. He would bring a lantern in with him, then he would open the lantern a tiny bit to see if the eye was open. The next morning, he would venture boldly into the old man's chambers, asking him how he spent the night.
  • Falling Action
  • On the eight night, the narrator accidentally woke up the old man while he was sneaking into his room, but still continued onward. The author personified death by writing, "All in vain; because Death, in approaching him had stalked with his black shadow before him, and enveloped the victim".There then was a one hour standoff between the narrator and the old man, the narrator in the room, and the old man sitting up in his bed. The author used the words, "dead hour of the night" to foreshadow the old man's death. The narrator opened the lantern a tiny bit, and saw that the old man's evil eye was open. The narrator heard a low, dull, quick sound, and believed it to be the old man's heart.  As the heart beat louder and louder, it created suspense and gave the narrator a new anxiety that the sound would be heard by a neighbor. 
  • Resolution
  • On the eighth night, the narrator killed the old man. He killed the him by suffocating him with his own mattress. 
  • Die evil eye!
  • The narrator dismembered the body in the bathtub so there would be no blood leftover as evidence. He then hid the body under the floorboards. The police arrived at four o'clock in the morning, right after he finished dismembering the corpse, because a neighbor heard a shriek and suspected foul play. The narrator invited the police to search well, then they took a seat in the old man's bed chambers, setting his own chair above the place where he hid the body. The narrator began to hear his own heartbeat, but believed it to be the old man's. Earlier in the story, the heartbeat symbolized the narrator's anxiety, but then now it symbolizes his guilt. The narrator flipped out, causing the heartbeat to become even louder. 
  • Is he okay?
  • The narrator's internal conflict over the death of the old man eventually caused the narrator to confess to the murder.  He shrieked, "Villains! ...dissemble no more! I admit the deed! --tear up the planks! here, here! --It is the beating of his hideous heart!"
  • Here's the body!
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