Literature Study GuidesThe Tell Tale Heart

The Tell-Tale Heart | Study Guide

Edgar Allan Poe

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Course Hero. "The Tell-Tale Heart Study Guide." Course Hero. 29 Dec. 2016. Web. 6 July 2020. <>.

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Course Hero. "The Tell-Tale Heart Study Guide." December 29, 2016. Accessed July 6, 2020.


Course Hero, "The Tell-Tale Heart Study Guide," December 29, 2016, accessed July 6, 2020,


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Edgar Allan Poe

Year Published



Short Story



Perspective and Narrator

"The Tell-Tale Heart" is told by an unreliable first-person narrator. At times the narrator addresses an unidentified audience directly, shifting briefly into second person.


"The Tell-Tale Heart" uses the present tense when the narrator addresses the audience and then shifts to the past tense when he retells his story.

About the Title

The title of this story, "The Tell-Tale Heart," has two closely related meanings. First, it refers to the heart of the murdered man, which the narrator hears beneath the floorboards. Second, it refers to the narrator's own emotion, which betrays him.


This study guide and infographic for Edgar Allan Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart offer summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

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