The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe

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In "The Cask of Amontillado" how does Montresor get Fortunato to come with him to his vault?

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William Delaney eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Poe wanted to write a story in which one man lures another into the underground catacombs and leaves him to die in chains. The only thing that could lure such a man deep underground would be wine. It seems impossible to think of anything else that Montresor could have claimed to have to show Fortunato down there under his palazzo. It had to be some exceptionally good wine. It couldn't be Italian wine because too much of that was available in the city. (Note that at the end of the third paragraph, Montresor writes: "I was skilful in the Italian vintages myself, and bought largely whenever I could." This shows that he cannot pretend to need a second opinion on a cask of Italian wine.) It couldn't be French wine for the same reason. Montresor is French himself. The only other possibility was Spanish wine. Poe may have known very little about Amontillado except that it was the best wine produced in Spain and their most expensive export. 

Poe knew it wasn't enough to have a small amount of Amontillado. Montresor claims to have a pipe containing 126 gallons--and furthermore, and most importantly, he claims to have gotten it at a bargain price. It is the bargain price that lures Fortunato underground, not the desire to drink a glass of gourmet Spanish sherry. Montresor knew that Fortunato would not go with him just to taste his wine. The Amontillado (if it existed) would have come into port recently aboard a ship from Barcelona. Fortunato could have found the ship with ease and tasted the Amontillado on board-which Montresor would have done himself if the wine had been real and the ship had been real. Montresor pretends to be in a big hurry to get an expert opinion on his pipe of nonexistent imported Amontillado and says he is on his way to Luchesi. Fortunato only goes with Montresor to prevent him from going to Luchesi, who would also be extremely interested in a cargo of wine at a bargain price.

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phutchison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Montresor appeals to Fortunato's ego.  Fortunato prides himself on his skills as a connoisseur of fine wine.  Montresor tells Fortunato that he has been given a cask of Amontillado, a very rare and expensive wine, but that he believes it to be fake.  Montresor tells Fortunato he is going to find Luchresi, another expert on wine, and ask him if the wine is truly Amantillado.  This is too much for Fortunato to take, and he tells Montresor that he will come and taste the wine and give his expert opinion.  Fortunato is already drunk; Montressor gives him additional wine on the way to the Amontillado, therefore it is not difficult for Montresor to shackle Fortunato and build the brick wall around him.

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MaudlinStreet eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Montresor seeks revenge on Fortunato, for a "thousand injuries" and a nameless insult. His plan involves burying Fortunato alive, deep within the catacombs of the Montresors. So he devises a plan to bring Fortunato to his own death. He tells Fortunato that he has purchased a cask of Amontillado, and needs Fortunato's expertise to determine the quality.

He flatters...

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jbonham13 | Student

The way Montresor was able to get Fortunato to accompany him to his vaults was brilliant.  By telling Fortunato that he "has received a pipe of what passes for Amontillado" is enough to spark Fortunato's curiosity because of his interest in fine wines, but what ensures he will accompany Montresor is when Montresor tells him, "I am on my way to Luchresi.  If anyone has a critical turn it is he."  Since Fortunato prides himself on his connoisseurship in wine, suggesting Luchresi's expertise is equivalent to his own appeals to Fortunato's ego.  By suggesting Luchresi's expertise is equal to his own was more than enough to make Fortunato forego his own engagement in order to give Montresor his own professional opinion on the Amontillado.  This is brilliant because Montresor was able to convince Fortunato to accompany him by telling him he did not need or want him to go examine the wine.

quizmaster743 | Student

At the carnival, Montresor takes advantage of the fact that Fortunato is already a bit drunk to trick him into the catacombs. He appeals to Fortunato's ego and refined taste for wine, telling him that he had just purchased a fine bottle of Amontillado and wanted him to taste it to make sure he had not paid too much. He claimed they had to go into the catacombs to do so, thus luring Fortunato to his doom.

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