The Tell Tale Heart Madness Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 13 September 2016

The Tell Tale Heart Madness

Has madness really taken him over? Is he truly a madman? Whereas many might argue he is not, such as the defendant himself, it is undisputable that this man is insane. The narrator has been accused of murder and although it is undeniable that he has committed the crime, he is not guilty by reason of insanity. Punishing anyone in the situation of having a mental disorder or suffering from any other psychiatric illness would be unlawful. There is enough evidence to prove that the defendant was actually insane, such as the fact that he suffers from plural illnesses such as paranoia and monomania.

Instead of punishing the defendant, sending him to an insane asylum would be of more relevance. His paranoia is determining to his insanity. The defendant claimed to have heard the beating of the old man’s heart even after his death. Hearing the consistent heartbeat of the man growing louder, loud enough to be heard with the naked ear. As described, the heartbeat was not heard by any of the officers at the night of the crime and therefore must have been an illusion of the defendant. Not only did the defendant hear a heart beating, he also confessed to have heard voices from heaven, earth, and particularly from hell.

The defendant suggests that the hearing of the nonexistent heartbeat is simply the over-acuteness of the sense. His continues denial of insanity is contrary to reality. Questioning himself to be mad is unmistakably a sign of insanity. Hatred and resentment for the old man cannot be seen as a reason for the defendant to have killed him as the defendant himself has stated to have loved the old man and never has been wronged by him. Not venom for the old man but a rather extraordinary obsession for his eye is seen as the ultimate stimulation for the murder.

The eye provoked a strong anxiety in the man, thinking that it is evil, which eventually led to the irrational decision of killing the man and therefore extinguish the eye. Furthermore, the defendant can be considered insane by the fact that he is suffering from a mental illness called monomania, an illness detected whenever someone is obsessed with a single idea or type of idea. In the case of the defendant, he is obsessed with the idea of killing the man, or more specifically, the vulture eye.

Eight nights in a row at midnight, the defendant pays the old man nightly visits with a lantern, only to watch the eye. No sane man would be able to sit still for so long only to watch an eye, letting his mind fill with the fear for the eye and desire of its absence. All these factors conclude in the ascertainment of the insanity of the defendant. Sanity is no longer within this man. It would be highly unjust to punish this man, he cannot be found guilty. Only to let this man go to jail could be a crime.

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  • University/College: University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 13 September 2016

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