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Name three of the many clever things Montresor does to lure Fortunato into his trap in...

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smatt34 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 5, 2013 at 8:33 PM via web

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Name three of the many clever things Montresor does to lure Fortunato into his trap in "The Cask of Amontillado".

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William Delaney | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 23, 2014 at 1:01 AM (Answer #2)

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One of the most clever things Montresor does in entrapping Fortunato is to make sure that his intended victim is not expected at home or anywhere else that night. Montresor twice pretends to believe that Fortunato has an engagement. First he says:

“As you are engaged, I am on my way to Luchesi. If any one has a critical turn it is he. He will tell me—”

This also introduces the idea that if Fortunato should refuse to accompany Montresor to his palazzo for any reason, Montresor would immediately go to Luchesi to ask him to judge his wine. Fortunato responds to the mention of Luchesi but not to the supposition that he is "engaged." Montresor must find out. He wants to leave a cold trail. If Fortunato is expected anywhere that night, Montresor will probably postpone his revenge. Again he brings up his enemy's supposed engagement, and this time he gets the information he wants:

“My friend, no; I will not impose upon your good nature. I perceive you have an engagement. Luchesi—”

“I have no engagement;—come.”

A second clever thing Montresor does at the beginning of the tale is to repeat that he has "doubts" about the authenticity of the Amontillado. If Fortunato does not come to Montresor's palazzo that night for any reason, such as an engagement or his bad cold, then Fortunato will certainly want to know more about the wine the next time he sees Montresor. Since the wine does not exist, Montresor will bring Fortunato a bottle of ordinary sherry and tell him it came from the cask he just purchased. Fortunato will, of course, judge it not to be true Amontillado, and that will be the end of the matter. 

Montresor shows great patience and foresight in his revenge scheme. When he has Fortunato chained to the wall and his victim pretends that he is expected that night by his wife and a houseful of guests, Montresor cannot be frightened into unlocking the padlock. A third clever thing he did, which shows his patience and foresight, was to condition himself to think of Fortunato as his "friend" and to address him and refer to him as such repeatedly over a long period of time. When it is discovered that Fortunato has disappeared, there will be a big investigation. Naturally people will suspect foul play--but no one will suspect Montresor because he is known to be Fortunato's very good friend. Montresor himself will undoubtedly continue to inquire after Fortunato for a long time after his mysterious disappearance. In fact, the uproar occasioned by Fortunato's disappearance, along with the pain it causes Fortunato's wife and relatives, will contribute to Montresor's enjoyment of his perfect revenge. Fortunato himself has been lulled into trusting Montresor by being repeatedly addressed by him as "my friend," as Montresor does throughout his narrative.


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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 5, 2013 at 9:07 PM (Answer #1)

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Montresor certainly is ready with his bag of tricks when it comes time to lure Fortunato into the catacombs. First, he introduces the prospect of a rare bottle of Amontillado when it is, in fact, nonexistent. The possibility of sampling the vintage is enough to keep Fortunato interested until it is too late. Secondly, Montresor has chosen the "supreme madness of the carnival season" to use as a background for his murder. The noise, costumes and alcohol provide a screen for his plan; additionally, he has told his servants that he will be out for the entire evening, knowing that it would 

... insure their immediate disappearance, one and all, as soon as my back was turned.

With no witnesses, Montresor and Fortunato alone descend deeper into the tombs. Again, Montresor has planned ahead. He tells Fortunato that the Amontillado is near, at "the most remote end of the crypt." But instead of finding Amontillado, Fortunato finds his final resting place. Montresor has already visited the area, hiding mortar amongst the loose stones; he has chains attached to iron staples in the granite in which to subdue Fortunato. He even carries a trowel with him, the final tool of his perfect crime.


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