“How, then, am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily-how calmly I can tell you the whole story,” (Edgar Allan Poe, 203).
In the story of The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe, the narrator brutally kills an old man with a blue vulture-like eye, only because of the eye. He then proudly hides the body, to avoid suspension from the police. The defendant is clearly guilty of murder in the 1st degree, and he is also off his rocker, but does he, the defendant, fit the legal description of insane at the time of the murder? Insane in legal terms means a “Mental illness of such a severe nature that a person cannot distinguish fantasy from reality, cannot conduct her/his affairs due to psychosis [can’t tell right from wrong], or is subject to uncontrollable impulsive behavior,” (dictionary.law.com). So then, the narrator of The Tell-Tale Heart is legally insane and fits all of the criteria. According to the legal definition of the word insane, a person who is insane can not distinguish fantasy…show more content… “For it was not the old man who vexed me, but his Evil Eye,” (Poe, 203) exclaimed the killer. The narrator always describes the eye throughout the story with nothing but pure, and unusual, hatred (because it terrified him also), and so he always had an awkward impulse to rid it of his life; he snuck into the old man’s room every night, each night attempting to murder him until the eighth night.”And every night, about midnight, I turned the latch of his door and opened it,“ (Poe, 203) spoke the narrator. This show’s that the killer’s strange impulse to sneak into the old man’s room every night but could not commit the deed until he saw the eye open, was truly beyond his the narrator’s own control. Which legally defines the narrator as