The unfortunate nemesis of the delusional narrator of The Tell-Tale Heart. His vulture-like, evil eye torments the narrator. Yet other than his eye there is nothing to indicate that the old man is anything other than a normal, old man. The old man's terror in the moments before the narrator kills him make the old man seem suddenly more human than the narrator, and the murder is chillingly heartless.
The Old Man Quotes in Poe's Stories
The Poe's Stories quotes below are all either spoken by The Old Man or refer to The Old Man. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Classics edition of Poe's Stories published in 2006.).
The Tell-Tale Heart Quotes
I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye! yes, it was this! He had the eye of a vulture.
Related Symbols: Eyes
Page Number and Citation:
The Old Man Character Timeline in Poe's Stories
The timeline below shows where the character The Old Man appears in Poe's Stories. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Tell-Tale Heart
...methodical, patient way that he goes about the murder. For seven nights, he creeps to the old man ’s bedroom door, opens the latch, puts an unlit lantern into the room and carefully... (full context)
...the narrator of "Tell-Tale Heart" is particularly gleeful about his sneakiness. He marvels at how the old man knows nothing of his plan. He even laughs a little to himself. But then he... (full context)