TellTaleHeart Socratic Seminar Chart

“The Tell­Tale Heart”
Socratic Seminar Prep
Part I: Main Discussion Points
Directions: Read each question carefully and answer based on your understanding of the story. Note the page where the quotes are pulled, as the whole
context of the quote might be needed. When answering think about the narrator’s madness, perception, reliability, and truthfulness. Write arguments that
could support him being a calculated killer or mentally ill ­ you will need to be able to support both sides
Details from text/question
Support for being a Calculated Killer:
Actions and Word Choice
Support for being Mentally Ill:
Actions and Word Choice
The opening paragraph
foreshadowing, or hinting at,
the events of the story…
“The disease had sharpened
my senses, not destroyed, not
dulled them”
“I think it was his eye” as
reason for killing him…
“the wise precautions that [he]
took for the concealment of
the body”…
“The Tell­Tale Heart”
Socratic Seminar Prep
“Was it possible they heard
not? Almighty God!—no,no?
They heard! –they
suspected!—they knew!”…
The police officers’
perception of the scene the
night they arrived at the house
of the old man (Hint: Use
textual evidence support what
they were aware of that night)
Ponder this quote by Poe:
“Men have called me mad;
but the question is not yet
settled, whether madness is or
is not the loftiest intelligence
– whether much that is
glorious – whether all that is
profound – does not spring
from disease of thought –
from moods of mind exalted
at the expense of general
What does this quote mean
and how might it relate to
the narrator’s position in
“Tell­Tale Heart”?
“The Tell­Tale Heart”
Socratic Seminar Prep
Part II: Discussion starters
Directions: Create your own questions that you can pose to the group to continue the conversation. Include textual evidence in your question.
“The Tell­Tale Heart”
Socratic Seminar Prep
Part III: Socratic Seminar Notes
Directions: Use this table to take notes during the Socratic Seminar. Textual evidence and your notes will serve as a guide for a project later next week.
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