“Yes, I have been ill, very ill, But why do you say that I have lost control of my mind, why do you say that I am mad? Can you not see that I have full control of my mind? Is it not clear that I am not mad?”
‘The Telltale Heart’, by Edgar Allan Poe is a gothic short story exploring the mind of an old man who is slowly losing his mind and through a narrative point of view we realize just how uncontrollable his actions are. He murders another man whom he believes has an evil eye, alerting the authorities and in the end, causing him to confess his sins, leaving the reader with the question ‘is he really mad?’. I believe the protagonist of the story holds the traits of a gothic protagonist, one of the elements of a gothic fiction novel, and I will be explaining why in this report.
Five of the six traits apply to this particular gothic protagonist, contrasting qualities, surrounded by negative foreshadowing devices, driven by strong emotions, has an air of mystery and has a need to know (belongs to upper class doesn’t apply to this protagonist as it isn’t known which class he belongs to in society).