- The narrator and the old man resent having to live together because of the narrator’s disease, and so the narrator decides to murder the old man.
- The narrator is driven mad by the sound of a heart beating beneath the floorboards, and this causes him to kill the old man.
- The narrator watches the old man sleep, and when the terrified old man discovers this, the narrator kills him to keep his madness hidden.
- The narrator is terrified of the old man’s blue eye and overwhelmed by the sound of his heartbeat, so the narrator kills the old man.
- “The disease had sharpened my senses — not destroyed — not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell.” (Paragraph 1)
- “I knew that he had been lying awake ever since the first slight noise, when he had turned in the bed. His fears had been ever since growing upon him.” (Paragraph 7)
- “But the beating grew louder, louder! I thought the heart must burst. And now a new anxiety seized me — the sound would be heard by a neighbor! The old man’s hour had come!” (Paragraph 11)
- “‘Villains!’ I shrieked, ‘dissemble no more! I admit the deed! — tear up the planks! — here, here! — it is the beating of his hideous heart!’” (Paragraph 18)