A Freudian Analysis of “The Tell-Tale Heart” By Edgar Allen Poe As an esteemed psychologist analyzing this accused murderer, I have found a few key pieces of evidence that ultimately lead me to the decision that the murderer is in fact mad and I recommend psychological rehabilitation as well as jail sentence as a proper penalty for the crime committed. Although, he claims he can recount the night of the murder “healthily and calmly” it is not proof enough to disregard his insanity.
The murderer insists that he “loved the old man” which I believe is undoubtedly true. As far as my knowledge goes he was stuck in a paradox of love and hate. With that said I know that people sometimes tend to harm the people they love. He claims he was not after the old man by any greedy or vengeful means, “He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire…” By saying this, he makes it clear that he has eliminated any motives that normally inspire a murderer.
Instead he describes his obsession with the old man’s, “vulture eye” as what makes him tick. To everyone except the murderer, the obsession with the old man’s blue eye is unexplainable. The only indication given is that the eye makes his “blood run cold” so much so that he thought the only just way to eliminate this problem was to end the old man’s life all together. Additionally, when he exclaims his plans to rid himself of the eye forever, subconsciously he wants to rid the old man of the eye because it is evil.
However, it is apparent that the murderer does not comprehend that he cannot isolate the man from his eye, and that if he tries he will have killed the man too not just the eye. In his mind, he has separated the man’s identity, which is pleasant and agreeable, from his vulture eye, which is described as evil and eerie. By doing so, the murderer has now justified to himself his capability of murdering the old man. Ultimately, the obsession with the vulture eye is irrational and is by no means a reasonable motive to murder an innocent man.
The murderer’s heightened sensitivity to sound is yet another piece of evidence that proves his insanity. He says, “Above all the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. ” What that means to him, we may not know, but to a listener he is just proving himself crazy. He first encounters the loud sound of the old man’s beating heart while he is still alive in his bed on the night of the murder, “I knew that sound well too.
It was the beating of the old man’s heart. It increased my fury as the beating of a drum stimulates the soldier into courage. ” Not only is this testimony of paranoia, it also disproves his original claim he is not insane, because a sound that can’t be heard from a distance at all was driving his rage to attack the old man. Then again at the end of his story, he claims he heard the sound of the beating heart and it drove him to admit to the crime, while the police were investigating the old man’s house. The ringing became more distinct: I talked more freely to get rid of the feeling: but it continued and gained definitiveness – until, at length, I found that the noise was NOT within my ears. ” This is a clear display of the murderer’s extreme guilt and paranoia. Not only do I firmly believe this murderer should be sentenced to many years jail for the crime he committed, it is in his best interest to regain his sanity if possible through some psychological therapy program.