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Poem Commentary The Tell-Tale Heart is actually an epic poem, which was written by Edgar Allen Poe

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John Barber English: Mrs. Hayward November 14, 2011 Poem Commentary ?The Tell-Tale Heart? is actually an epic poem, which was written by Edgar Allen Poe. An epic poem is similar to a regular poem, except usually much longer, and a little like a short story with a deep meaning. Knowing Edgar Allen Poe?s sick, insane yet genius personality, it?s fair to say that you can really dig into ?The Tell-Tale Heart? and come up with a lot of meanings and symbols. Because this is an epic poem, it is extremely long, and I can only pick apart the richest and juiciest segments of it, like imagery, theme, mood, figurative language and more. Right from the start the poem is unusual. It?s written as if it were being spoken on the spot of the action. The speaker is fumbling with their words, speaking with speed and confidence, but then slowing down in hesitation. ...read more.


When the old man looks at the main character, his ?blood ran cold?, almost as if the eye was staring into the main characters soul, and seeing that he was actually evil on the inside. This would certainly drive the main character to killing the old man, in fear of him knowing how crazy or sadistic the main character is. He probably feels invaded, trespassed, and violated when he stares into the eye of the old man. The only way to stop the feeling is- ?to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever.? He states that the eye ?vexes? him, and is what is driving him to kill the old man. He even crept into his room and watched his eye for seven nights. His choice of diction is quite intriguing, while all the while bizarre. He keeps using the term madman, but is trying to establish that he is NOT a madman, but if we understood it the first time, then the fact that he?s repeating it is for his own sake. ...read more.


The best way to describe it is, is guilt, and the author gets this across with the beating heart. It brings feelings of guilt to the main character, of what he has done, and drives him so mad that he confesses what he has done to the police, even though had he not he would have gotten away with murder. He really felt guilt though because the old man was innocent, and couldn?t control the appearance of his blind eye. Had he been evil, it would have been a completely different scenario. The most commonly used metaphor was the old man?s eye, to that of a vulture eye. A foul bird which plucks and picks away at things that are dying. He used this metaphor twice. However, he only used one simile in his epic poem, when he compared the ray of light to a spider web by saying ?Until, at length a simple dim ray, like the thread of the spider, shot from out the crevice and fell upon the vulture eye.? A great simile because it is also a form of imagery. ...read more.

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