Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Tell-Tale Heart
"The Tell-Tale Heart" is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe, which was first published in James Russell Lowell's The Pioneer in January 1843; Poe republished it in his periodical The Broadway Journal for August 23 1845. It is widely considered a classic of the Gothic fiction genre.
"The Tell-Tale Heart" is the first-person narrative of a man whose feverishly heightened senses lead to an irrational fear of the clouded eye (perhaps afflicted with glaucoma or a severe cataract) of an old man with whom he boards. The fellow becomes so distressed with the eye that he murders the old man. When the police respond to a call placed by a neighbor who heard the old man's screams, the murderer is so intensely taunted by the imagined sound of the old man's heart that he hysterically admits to the deed.
An animated film version by UPA, The Tell-Tale Heart (1953), is included among the films preserved in the United States National Film Registry.
The Tell-Tale Heart is one of several songs inspired by Poe stories on the album Tales of Mystery and Imagination (original version 1976, CD remix 1987) by The Alan Parsons Project. It is sung in an appropriately hysterical style by Arthur Brown.
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