Poe's Tell-Tale Heart
Historical Critique of Poe's "Tell-Tale Heart"
To understand Edgar Allan Poe's "Tell-Tale Heart," it may be beneficial to first understand the historical context within which it appears. Gothic horror was much in vogue with the popular reading public of the mid-19th century. Indeed, Poe's short story was published a decade after another story about a madman was published on the other side of the world in Russia -- "Diary of a Madman," a tale which humorously recorded a Russian man's descent into madness. Such characters were popular on both sides of the world as a result of the immensely popular Romantic movement that had followed the Age of Enlightenment and given birth to such fascinatingly horrific creatures as Frankenstein's monster. While in Europe and on both sides of the world literary characters were failing to evince themselves as upright and sane citizens, something must have been happening...
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