In "The Cask of Amontillado" how does Montresor lure Fortunato farther and father into the catacombs?

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mrs-campbell eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The initial lure is the wine; he has mentioned how fond Fortunado is of wine, especially the fact that "he prided himself on his connoisseur-ship in wine." Montresor appeals to Fortunado's pride on the issue of being a wine-expert. Of the supposed Amontillado that he purchased, he says to Fortunado, "I was silly enough to pay the full Amontillado price without consulting you in the matter." This strokes Fortunado's ego and piques his interest; now he'll just have to take a look for himself! So that is how he gets him down there in the first place.

Once in the tombs, he uses one other tactic-reverse psychology, again working on Fortunado's pride. Every time Fortunado hesitates or coughs, Montresor stops and insists the return. In one case he states, "“Come...we will go back; your health is precious. You are rich, respected, admired, beloved; you are happy, as once I was. You are a man to be missed." Here he flatters Fortunado and feigns concern for him. This has two effects: to make Fortunado feel he must prove his manliness by continuing, and by making him feel like he won't get to see the wine, which makes him more determined to see it.

A third tactic Montresor employs is getting Fortunado more drunk. At one point he grabs a bottle of wine and says, "'Drink,' presenting him the wine. He raised it to his lips with a leer" and drank an entire swig, getting more drunk as they continue.

So, by combining the psychological techniques of ego-stroking, flattery, reverse psychology, removal of the object of his desire (the wine) AND by getting him rip-roaring drunk, Montresor manages to lead Fortunado to his demise.

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The Cask of Amontillado

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