The Tell-Tale Heart Plot Diagram

The Tell-Tale Heart Plot Diagram
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The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe

The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe

Lesson Plans by Rebecca Ray

“The Tell-Tale Heart” is a dark and eerie tale of a man’s unhealthy obsession that leads him to commit murder. However, it is his paranoia that gets him caught. It's a suspenseful story and one of Poe's well known pieces, perfect for chilly days in the Fall.


The Tell-Tale Heart

Storyboard Description

"The Tell-Tale Heart" - Plot Diagram for Edgar Allen Poe's Tell-Tale Heart. Perfect activity for ELA!

Storyboard Text

  • EXPOSITION
  • CONFLICT
  • RISING ACTION
  • The narrator is introduced. He wishes to prove his sanity to the readers despite having killed a man over his deformed eye.
  • CLIMAX
  • The narrator lives in the same building as an old man who has a disturbing eye. The narrator says that it is deformed, looking like a vulture's eye with a film covering it.
  • FALLING ACTION
  • Over the next eight days the narrator plots killing the old man to get rid of the "eye". Each night he enters the old man's room with a lantern until he sees the eye.
  • RESOLUTION
  • TICK, TICK, TICK, TIck.....
  • I confess.. Make it stop!
  • Finally, one evening, the old man wakes up and screams. Then the narrator pulls the man off the bed and smothers him with his mattress until he can no longer hear the old man's heart beating.
  • Summoned by a neighbor, the police arrive, citing that someone reported a scream. The narrator tries to cover up by saying it was him that screamed, and that the old man was out of town.
  • The story ends when the narrator believes he hears a ticking noise that grows louder and louder. He believes that it is the sound of the old man’s heart and confesses to the police.
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