Analysis Of Edgar Allan Poe 's The Tell Tale Heart

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Poe & Psychoanalysis Psychoanalysis began with Sigmund Freud, also known as the founding father of psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis is a method for treating mental illness and also a theory which explains human behavior. (McLeod) Freud broke his theory into 3 different levels, Id, Ego, and Superego. Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell Tale Heart” and the “Cask of Amontillado” focused deep into these levels of psychoanalysis specifically the superego and the id. Freud explained that our superego is our conscience or the voice inside our heads telling us individuals how to act or respond to events happening in the moment. Freud once said “The superego focuses on how we ought to behave. It strives for perfection, judging actions and producing…show more content…
To begin the story it is assumed that Montresor lives in this house by himself meaning that there is no one to teach him right from wrong. Though he had felt guilty about what he had done it wasn’t until the end of his life, the guilt took over him and his superego told someone. “Without questioning the interpretation of Montresor’s narration as taking place at his deathbed.” (Baraban 48) He also never told the person what happened to make him kill Fortunato. Montresor said at the end of the story, ”For the half of a century no mortal has disturbed them.” (Poe 144) So we know that he has been holding this confession in for half a century or fifty years. “Freud explains the id theory as the impulsive part of our human psyche which responds directly and immediately to the instincts,” (McLeod) It is one of our main sources for our aggression and desires. Id is mainly in “The Cask of Amontillado”. It drives Montresor to lead one of his own friends down into the catacombs under his home. As Montresor is telling the story you can tell he felt pleasured by bricking his friend in slowly. Montresor really didn’t care about the how he murdered his friend even though he did give Fortunato several “tries” to go back up stairs. However, Montresor also kept luring Fortunato down to the catacombs offering amontillado. Freud explains his ego theory as a “reality principle.” It seeks to gratify the id’s impulses in realistic ways that will end
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