Historical Analysis of Edgar Allen Poe’s "The Tell Tale Heart"

download print

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 458 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Jan 30, 2024

Words: 458|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Jan 30, 2024

Table of contents

  1. Historical Context
  2. Analysis of Themes
  3. Literary Techniques
  4. Critical Reception
  5. Conclusion
  6. References

Edgar Allen Poe is one of the most renowned American authors of the 19th century, known for his macabre and Gothic style. His short story "The Tell-Tale Heart" is a significant piece of literature that reflects the historical context of the era and explores themes of guilt, madness, and obsession. This essay will analyze the story in the context of the 19th century, examining its thematic depth, literary techniques, and critical reception.

'Why Violent Video Games Shouldn't Be Banned'?

Historical Context

The 19th century marked a period of significant change in literature, characterized by the rise of Romanticism and the exploration of human emotions and individualism. Edgar Allen Poe's works are deeply rooted in this era, capturing the social and cultural influences of his time. The Industrial Revolution also had a profound impact on society and literature, shaping the themes and concerns of writers.

Analysis of Themes

"The Tell-Tale Heart" delves into the theme of guilt, as the protagonist struggles with the burden of his actions. The story also explores madness as a psychological theme, depicting the unraveling of the protagonist's mind. Additionally, obsession and its consequences are central to the narrative, reflecting the anxieties of the 19th century. These themes are closely linked to the historical context, as they mirror the societal issues and psychological complexities of the time.

Literary Techniques

Poe employs first-person narration to delve into the inner thoughts and emotions of the protagonist, immersing the reader in his psychological turmoil. Symbolism, such as the old man's "vulture eye," adds depth to the themes and enhances the story's impact. Repetition is used to intensify the protagonist's obsession, while irony builds suspense and tension, captivating the reader's attention.

Critical Reception

"The Tell-Tale Heart" received mixed contemporary reception, with some praising its psychological depth and others critiquing its disturbing nature. Prominent literary critics have interpreted the story in various ways, adding to its enduring significance. The story's impact then continues to resonate in the present day, as it remains a staple in literary studies and continues to captivate readers worldwide.

Get a custom paper now from our expert writers.


In conclusion, "The Tell-Tale Heart" is a reflection of the historical context of the 19th century, delving into themes of guilt, madness, and obsession. Poe's masterful use of literary techniques adds depth to the story, while its critical reception underscores its enduring significance. As one of Poe's iconic works, "The Tell-Tale Heart" continues to hold a significant place in the annals of literature, captivating readers and scholars alike with its exploration of human psychology and societal concerns.


  1. Poe, Edgar Allen. "The Tell-Tale Heart". 1843.
  2. McMichael, George, et al. Anthology of American Literature. Pearson, 2016.
  3. Buranelli, Vincent. Edgar Allan Poe. Twayne Publishers, 1961.
  4. Quinn, Arthur Hobson. Edgar Allan Poe: A Critical Biography. The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998.
Image of Dr. Charlotte Jacobson
This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

Historical Analysis of Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Tell Tale Heart”. (2024, January 30). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 20, 2024, from
“Historical Analysis of Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Tell Tale Heart”.” GradesFixer, 30 Jan. 2024,
Historical Analysis of Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Tell Tale Heart”. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 20 Jul. 2024].
Historical Analysis of Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Tell Tale Heart” [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Jan 30 [cited 2024 Jul 20]. Available from:
Keep in mind: This sample was shared by another student.
  • 450+ experts on 30 subjects ready to help
  • Custom essay delivered in as few as 3 hours
Write my essay

Still can’t find what you need?

Browse our vast selection of original essay samples, each expertly formatted and styled


Where do you want us to send this sample?

    By clicking “Continue”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.


    Be careful. This essay is not unique

    This essay was donated by a student and is likely to have been used and submitted before

    Download this Sample

    Free samples may contain mistakes and not unique parts


    Sorry, we could not paraphrase this essay. Our professional writers can rewrite it and get you a unique paper.



    Please check your inbox.

    We can write you a custom essay that will follow your exact instructions and meet the deadlines. Let's fix your grades together!


    Get Your
    Personalized Essay in 3 Hours or Less!

    We can help you get a better grade and deliver your task on time!
    • Instructions Followed To The Letter
    • Deadlines Met At Every Stage
    • Unique And Plagiarism Free
    Order your paper now