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Insanity Defence - Edgar Allan Poe Essay

  • Submitted by: emb123
  • on January 26, 2013
  • Category: English
  • Length: 336 words

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Below is an essay on "Insanity Defence - Edgar Allan Poe" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

The insanity defence in 1843 does not have any “guilt” test, but through the “police at the elbow” test, both narrators exhibit opposite feelings; shame versus blame.   The narrator in The Black Cat explains his relaxing moments as a “freeman” leading up to the police visit as he felt “no embarrassment whatever” for he “quivered not a muscle” (355). Similarly, when the narrator in The Tell-Tale Heart is met by the police officers, he is initially confident and arrogantly pleased with himself for his disguise. Both narrators are eventually caught, but under different circumstances. The narrator in The Black Cat is revealed when the cry of his cat is heard within the “tomb”. Rather than admitting to his crime and expressing shame, the narrator blames the “hideous beast” for “seducing” him into bloody murder.   The narrator’s calmness preceding the police visit, his incapability of accepting his actions as a crime and their consequences and his inability to show remorse concludes the narrator would have committed the murder even if the policemen were “at the elbow” confirming his insanity. The narrator in The Tell-Tale Heart experiences a different moral transition when his crime is revealed, implying his feelings of guilt and understanding that his actions may now be met with consequences. With ethical judgement, the narrator must be held accountable for he is not insane, but instead a severely morally corrupted murderer. As the policemen become comfortable in his home, the narrator begins to feel extremely pale, his head begins to ache and he hears the sound of the old man’s (arguably) heart beat. The beating heart becomes so loud and paranoid that the narrator confesses “tear up the planks! – Here, here! – it is the beating of his hideous heart” confirming his impounding guilt and the probability of his committing the murder “at the elbow” of the policemen is highly unlikely. (321). His impounding guilt leads him to confess, while unlike the narrator in The Black Cat...

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MLA Citation

"Insanity Defence - Edgar Allan Poe". Anti Essays. 16 Dec. 2018


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Insanity Defence - Edgar Allan Poe. Anti Essays. Retrieved December 16, 2018, from the World Wide Web: http://parimatch-stavka7.com/free-essays/Insanity-Defence-Edgar-Allan-Poe-393609.html

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