“The cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe, shows us how Montresor wants revenge and takes Fortunato to his house and traps him in one of the rooms in the basement. It is unknown why Montresor does such thing to Fortunato, the reader only knows that Montresor is very upset and wants Fortunato to pay back. Then “My Last Duchess” tells us that a duke ended with his wife’s life after he realized that she was with somebody else, now he is arranging another marriage with another woman and he does not really care about the one he murdered. “The cask of Amontillado” and “My Last Duchess” both show the feelings of these two men who would even kill those who are not loyal to them. On the other side, Barbara Hamby in “Ode to American English” and Tony Hoagland in “America” show their perspectives on the American culture. Even though they show two different points of view, they focus on the same subject and we come to realize the impact of society on people.
In both “The cask of Amontillado” and “My Last Duchess” the causes of the murders are not really shown but left to the reader’s imagination. They focus on the outcome of treason and what people are able to do when they are angry. In both, the main characters find themselves in situations which sometimes are usual (betrayal), but their response in unusual. They do not regret what they do, but somehow they are actually confident that what they did was right. Also, nobody finds out about these murders, which leads them to just go on with their lives normally which is obviously very unfair. Somehow, this is strange because these behaviors are not natural to humans and sometimes make us wonder if someone would really do this.
Barbara Hamby and Tony Hoagland focus on America. Hamby, talks about America on the positive side of it by saying how much she misses the country and how people speak by not conjugating the verbs properly. She refers to the beauty of the place and all that it has to offer, for example all the TV shows and everything that American people have given to the world. On the other side, Hoagland is more pessimistic about the country and talks about one of the negative characteristics of the United States, money. He refers to America as a prison which only has Burger Kings, and Radio Shacks, but not a good amount of spiritual values.
Even though these four poems focus on different themes, they put their attention in one central idea. Poe and Browning refer to revenge and getting away with it, and Hoagland and Hamby talk about America. Finally, in all these four poems, we can see how much of an impact society has on people and their actions, we can learn from different experiences and chose what we like or what we don’t.