In "Cask of Amontillado" what things did Montresor think out to ensure that his crime was a success?

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William Delaney | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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It should be pointed out that throughout his narrative Montresor refers to Fortunato as "my friend," "my good friend," and "my poor friend," altogether about a dozen times. This is Poe's way of showing the reader that Montresor has also been thinking about what will happenafterhe has walled Fortunato up in the niche and left him to die. Fortunato is a prominent ditizen. His disappearance will be a source of wonder to his wife, to his relatives, to his friends, to the citizens, and to the authorities. There will be an ongoing investigation for months. Not only will the police be asking questions, but his friends and relatives will be making their own inquiries. Montresor does not want to be the subject of the slightest suspicion. He has gotten into the habit of referring to Fortunato as his friend, and the habit has become so strong that he continues referring to him as such even as he is leading him to his death--and not only that, but he is referring to him in his narrative as his friend, his good friend, and his poor friend fifty years after the murder. This is another example of the things Montresor did to make sure his crime was a success. Nobody will suspect Montresor because they will take it for granted that the two men are the best of friends. Montresor himself will have to pretend to be greatly concerned about his friend's disappearance and keep asking questions about him until the matter is finally forgotten, even if that takes years.

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lit24 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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 Montresor has  meticulously planned the time, the place and the method of his revenge well in advance.

1.Time: Montresor decides to take his revenge at "about dusk, one evening during the supreme madness of the carnival season," so that every one in his house especially the servants would have gone out and that he would be able to commit his heinous deed completely unnoticed by anyone. He had cunningly ensured that the servants would not return home that evening by lying to them that he will be returning home only next morning.

2.Place: Montresor chose the innermost crypt in his vaults so that Fortunato's cries would not be heard by anyone. He had also arranged to have the building stones and the mortar ready at hand to wall in Fortunato. When he accompanies Fortunato into the vaults he carries with him the instrument of revenge-the trowel.

3.The Method: All the while "smiling in his face" Montresor flatters and traps Fortunato by exploiting his "weak point" : Fortunato "prided himself on his connoisseurship in wine," and Montresor deceives him by saying that he does not wish to trouble him and that he'd rather  seek Luchresi's opinion regarding the quality of the Amontillado that he has bought. At once Fortunato takes the bait and accompanies Montresor into the vaults to prove that he is better than Luchresi. Once inside the vaults, Montresor gets him drunk to slow down his reflelexes and then leads him to his death. 

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