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The theme of Hamilton: an american musical

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chloe siegel

on 29 January 2017

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Transcript of The theme of Hamilton: an american musical

According to Merriam Webster Dictionary Theme is defined as: A subject or topic of discourse or of artistic representation.
The Theme of Hamilton
Hamilton: An American musical's theme is in a word about legacy. More specifically the theme is, being remembered by what you do during you life.
Here are some examples of how legacy is woven throughout the story.
Song One: Alexander Hamilton
Right from the start we know that legacy is going to be important. We know this for a couple of reasons, the first being that the story is narrated by Aaron Burr, the man who shot and killed Hamilton in a duel. An event that shaped how Hamilton is remembered in our history. The second are the following lyrics "His enemies destroyed his rep America forgot him" which talks about how is was remembered.
Song 4: Story of Tonight
Story of tonight starts with these lyrics, "I may not live to see our glory. But I will gladly join the fight. And when our children tell our story. They’ll tell the story of tonight.". They are talking about how they want to be remembered after the revolution and about how the next generation will learn about what they did, even if they are not around to witness it.
Hamilton Background
Hamilton: An American Musical was written by Lin Manuel Miranda. It is a musical that follows Alexander Hamilton, one of our founding fathers, from his birth to his death in 46 songs.
The theme of Hamilton: an american musical
Song 19: History has its eyes on you
The fact that History has its eyes on you is about legacy is obvious from the title. In the song George Washington tells Hamilton about his failure as a commander when he first got command. He warns him that history will not view him how he wishes to be viewed.
Song 32: One Last Time
This song is when George Washington steps down from office. He reviews his carrier and offers advice. One line in particular is about legacy "The faults of incompetent abilities will be consigned to oblivion". This line shows how Washington is thinking to the future of the country and how he wants to be remembered by history.
Song 36: Hurricane and song 38: Burn
In Hurricane Hamilton is dealing with the aftermath of cheating on his wife and the fact that his political rivals found out about it. His rivals have agreed to not tell anyone that he cheated however Hamilton doesn't trust them and decides to admit publish a pamphlet on it so that the information comes out on is terms. He believes this will make him look better in the long term. This is not the case and in the next song we see his wife's reaction to this. Her reaction is to burn her letters so that historians wont know what happened. This time it is Eliza Hamilton deciding how she and her husband will be remembered.
Song 46: Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story
This song is narrated by Eliza Hamilton and takes place after Alexander Hamilton's death. The whole thing is about how you will be remembered but this lines stand out especially: "And when my time is up, have I done enough? Will they tell our story?" and "But when you’re gone, who remembers your name? Who keeps your flame? Who tells your story?" Theses are the questions that are brought up again and again throughout the musical and finally at the end they are all said plainly and left without an answer because there isn't really one.
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