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The Tell-Tale Heart

The Tell-Tale Heart


by Edgar Allan Poe

Reading Quizzes

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Sample of Reading Quizzes

The Tell-Tale Heart


1. What sort of disease does the narrator claim to have?
2. What is the narrator's strongest sense and what does it allow him to do?
3. What started the narrator's "idea"?
4. What does the narrator decide must happen to the old man and why?
5. What argument does the narrator present as to why he is not insane?
6. What does the narrator do each day of the week around midnight?
7. What is the narrator unable to do and why?
8. What causes the narrator to finally jump on the old man?
9. Who comes to the old man's house to talk to the narrator?
10. Why does the narrator end up confessing to the crime?


1. The narrator claims to have a disease that makes his senses really powerful.
2. The narrator's strongest sense is his sense of hearing, and it allows him to hear everything that is going on everywhere, including "earth," "heaven," and especially "hell."
3. The narrator thinks the old man's eye may have started his idea, because it was like a vulture's: pale blue with a film over it.
4. The narrator decides that the old man must die so that he won't have to deal with that eye anymore.
5. The narrator claims that insane people have no knowledge or skill, but he has planned everything out very carefully.
6. He sneaks into the old man's room, which takes about an hour because he is so paranoid about waking him up.
7. When he creeps into the old man's room he is unable to kill him, because the old man is sleeping, which means the narrator cannot see his eye.
8. He can hear the old man's heart beating, and at some point he feels it is so loud that is may wake someone up, so he jumps on the man to stop the noise.
9. The police.
10. While the police are with the narrator at the old man's apartment, he thinks he can still hear the old man's heart beating. It gets loud enough that it begins to give him a headache, and he thinks that the police are toying with him, pretending not to hear anything. So finally, when the narrator can't stand the sound anymore, he confesses.