They tantalized him by hanging the keys to his cell just outside his reach.
Advanced English Dictionary
(BrE also tantalise) +verb [VN] to make a person or an animal want sth that they cannot have or do tantalizing, tantalising adjective: The tantalizing aroma of fresh coffee wafted towards them. + a tantalizing glimpse of the future tantalizingly, tantalisingly adverb: The branch was tantalizingly out of reach.
Random quote: All achievements, all earned riches, have their beginning in an idea.: Napoleon Hill