illustration of Fortunato standing in motley behind a mostly completed brick wall with a skull superimposed on the wall where his face should be

The Cask of Amontillado

by Edgar Allan Poe

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Where does Montresor take Fortunato?

In "The Cask of Amontillado," Montresor takes Fortunato back to his empty palazzo, where he leads Fortunato into the depths of his family's extensive catacombs, which are deep underground and run below a riverbed. Inside the vaults, Montresor shackles Fortunato to a back wall inside a recess, where he buries him alive.

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In "The Cask of Amontillado," Montresor gets revenge on Fortunato by carefully plotting and executing his murder. Montresor is determined to punish his enemy and takes several precautions to avoid suspicion. His black attire is inconspicuous, and he meets Fortunato during the carnival season, which is a merry, cheerful environment where no one would suspect that someone is in grave danger. Montresor approaches his enemy and wears a pleasant disposition to gain Fortunato's trust. Montresor also uses Fortunato's affinity for fine wines to his advantage by saying that he has purchased what seems to be amontillado. Fortunato is astonished that Montresor has acquired such fine wine during the carnival season and insists on trying the wine to authenticate it.

Fortunato falls for Montresor's trap and suggests that they travel to Montresor's vaults to taste the amontillado. Montresor feigns concern for Fortunato's health by informing him that the vaults are "insufferably damp" and "encrusted with nitre." Despite Montresor's argument, Fortunato insists on leaving the festivities, and Montresor leads his victim to his empty palazzo.

Once Fortunato arrives at Montresor's palazzo, Montresor leads him down a winding staircase into the dark, damp catacombs. Montresor and Fortunato proceed to travel through the extensive vaults, which go deep into the earth and underneath a riverbed. When Fortunato reaches the end of the vaults, Montresor quickly shackles him to a niche in the back wall and builds a wall to enclose his body. Montresor thus buries Fortunato alive, after which he keeps his secret to himself for fifty years.

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Where is Montresor bringing Fortunato?

Montresor brings Fortunato into the catacombs beneath his home. Montresor knows all his servants will be away enjoying the Mardi Gras celebrations, so his home is empty. Montresor leads the drunken Fortunato down a winding staircase into the dark, damp catacombs. Catacombs, or cemeteries the Romans built under ground, have ledges against the walls on which they put dead bodies, so they pass old bones. Their way is lit only by the two flambeaux or torches that they carry. A webwork of white mold lines the walls, causing Fortunato to cough. They pass under low arches, and the mold--or nitre--on the walls increases, making the walls look mossy. Finally, they enter into a crypt and at the end of it, a smaller crypt, lined on three sides with human bones. Beyond that is a small niche. This is the final destination, where Montresor chains Fortunato up and bricks him in to die. 

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