Compare Macbeth & The Tell-Tale Heart
It seems as if Edgar Allen Poe wrote the story “The Tell-Tale Heart” with “Macbeth” in mind. There are parallel structures in his writing that corresponds to Shakespeare’s play making the themes between the two pieces of writing similar. the theme of desire to kill is important in both Macbeth and “The Tell-Tale Heart”. In Macbeth, Lady Macbeth has the desire to kill King Duncan in order to gain power. In the short story, the narrator has a desire to kill the old man.
In both situations, they succeed in the murder. Also, the fear of being found out is present in the two readings. After the murder is done, in The Tell-Tale Heart, he hides the body in an undiscoverable place, so well hidden that if the old man had been alive he wouldn’t have noticed. When the police are sitting in his house, he hears voices in his head. He can hear the sound of the old man’s heart beat.
With the pressure of the presence of the police pressuring him, the narrator cracks and exposes the old man.
Similarly, after Macbeth murders King Duncan, both he and Lady Macbeth decided to suggest that it was the morning knockers who killed the King. They too, are afraid of being discovered. Another parallel between the two is the guilt regret after sinning. Lady Macbeth goes insane and begins to sleepwalk, and killed herself. In Edgar Allen Poe’s story, the narrator less drastically, also goes insane from the thoughts of murder in his mind.
He then comes clean and pulls out the body of the victim proving himself guilty in front of the police. The narrator in The Tell-Tale Heart motivated himself towards killing the old man for his personal reasoning, which is the old man’s eye. In Macbeth, it is Lady Macbeth who drives Macbeth to kill King Duncan. The difference is that Lady Macbeth is pushing Macbeth to kill. However, this is not directly done for her own sake, but for Macbeth to gain power. In The Tell-Tale Heart, the narrator empowers himself without any help.
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