The Tell-Tale Heart By Edgar Allan Poe
1. Why does the narrator say that he must kill the old man?
2. How does he rehearse his crime:
3. What happens to his plan on the night of the murder?
4. Why does the sound of the heartbeat send him into “uncontrollable terror”?
5. How is the old man killed?
6. How does he dispose of the old man’s body?
7. What brings the police officers to the house?
8. How does the narrator first receive them?
9. What happens to change his sense of security?
10.How does Poe show throughout the story that the narrator is mad?
Vocabulary: Using context clues and a dictionary define the following.
1. acute 9. reposed
2. cunningly 10. sagacity
3. death watches 11. stealthily
4. derision 12. tattoo
5. dissemble 13. vehemently
6. dissimulation 14. wary
7. Evil Eye
1. Suspense is a key element in the plot of the story. It maintains interest and heightens the feeling of mystery. Suspense compels the reader to read on, to discover what happens next, and how things turn out. Discuss the elements of suspense in Poe’s famous story and show how it is achieved before and after the murder.
2. What do stalking the old man and the post-murder details reveal about the narrator’s character?
3. Poe is a master at creating atmosphere. What are some of the story details and images that would have a strong appeal to its audience?
Writing Activities: Choose one of the following.
1. Rewrite the final scene of the story from the perspective of one of the police officers. You might wish to write the official report filed by them.
2. Write about the idea that obsessions can be destructive.
3. Write a poem or song lyrics about the events of this story.
4. Discuss the concept of “madness” – is the narrator really crazy? Or just a little “misunderstood”.
5. Is there such thing as the perfect crime? If there was a way you