Alexander Hamilton! Legacy. What is a legacy? You tell me.
“Legacy. What is a legacy? It’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see. I wrote some notes at the beginning of a song someone will sing for me.”
-Hamilton the Musical
Isn’t this the most inspiring musical ever? Every single line in the play is full of meaning (no? Why don’t you turn around and bend over? I’ll show you where my shoe fits). Most of the songs have hidden themes within them that breathe through the whole entire musical. So for this assignment, we had to find a theme statement inside the musical and make a mind map with supporting evidence along with connections.
Here it is. My full-of-aesthetics mind map. I made this mind map in Photoshop with the all famous silhouettes from the musical’s poster I discovered on the web. All images belong to their rightful owner. I’m just a tryhard student with a strong attempt to acquire aesthetics.
As you can see, the composition of the mind map is very much displaced due to the lack of capacity. Thus I will have to explain the mind map here in the blog. The theme statement is the fact that legacy can be a burden as much as it is an honour.(I spelt it the American way or else I’ll run out of space in the star. Plus this is an American musical anyways)
- “When they died they left no instruction just a legacy to protect”
This is one is pretty self-explanatory. In the song “wait for it”, Aaron Burr expresses how he is trying to compete with Alexander Hamilton while shouldering an extra weight of his family’s legacy at the same time. So in this case, Burr’s hereditary legacy is very much a burden because people already has their eyes on him and monitoring his actions. On the contrary, Hamilton is new to the public so nobody really cares about what kind of things he does nor will they discuss his activities or spread rumours about him.
- ” I can’t stop until I get this plan through congress”
Because Hamilton is so addicted in creating something that will outlive him, he won’t stop until he gets what he wants regardless of the amount of stress and work that comes with it. If you look at the lyrics of “take a break”, Angelica “came all this way” from London to go upstate with her sister Eliza and Alexander. However, because of the current issue he has with Thomas Jefferson, he declined the invitation and continued to work. Which as you know, caused him loads of trouble with Maria Reynolds and eventually Philip Hamilton’s death.
- “Reynolds Pamphlet”
This whole song (and the actual pamphlet) is Hamilton’s attempt to defend himself from accusations of corruptness. In the previous evidence above, Hamilton was quite new to the public and nobody really cares about his actions since his name doesn’t make a connection to any legacy…. yet. In this time period of his life, Alexander created quite a stir and his name is getting bigger. If it wasn’t for this legacy and title, not a single printing press would print a pamphlet on him. He wouldn’t even have to the necessity to explain himself. Let’s be honest here, people cheat with their marriage all the time.
- Nationalism and the development of nation-states
There are way too many things to describe in regards to the legacy Alexander Hamilton left for America. In the mind map, I only mentioned a few examples, but those are the things that meant a universe to Hamilton. However, in the musical we can see that it cost Hamilton a universe to build those things for us.
Do I really have to talk about this? I mean… this whole Hamilton thing was about the American Revolution. Though I do have to add a note that Alexander Hamilton revolutionised the political and financial system in the United States of America too.
- Disparities in Power
In the mind map these two points share a similarity of the strong distinction between Hamilton and Burr. Not only do they have a huge conflict throughout their whole lives (spoiler alert not really: rip Hamilton), the strong disparity in power and sense of legacy is what led to the gap in their “friendship”.
In addition to that, there is also a major conflict shown in the second act of the musical. That’s right. You simply must meet Thomas! Thomas Jefferson’s coming hooomee~ Thomas Jefferson is really the person who brought truckloads of problems into Hamilton’s life because they are just diametrically opposed foes. Those Cabinet Battles are extremely epic roasts which you should totally check out. Here are the links to both of them.
Read “Cabinet Battle #1” by Lin-Manuel Miranda on Genius
Read “Cabinet Battle #2” by Lin-Manuel Miranda on Genius
Here’s a piece of personal connection that I didn’t put on the map. I feel like the leadership projects we do in TALONS are a mini microscopic version of Hamilton’s legacy. And man…… It sure takes a lot of work to plan a leadership project. The more leadership projects you have, the more you contribute to the community. However, the more leadership projects you have, the more stress you carry as well. Since on info night my short speech was practically leadership projects, this connection sure rings a bell in my life.
Anyways, my blog is getting long again. Well, I hope enjoyed my first blog post in 2017. Happy late new year everyone! GO LISTEN TO HAMILTON THE MUSICAL. Also go love Lafayette. I’ll change a gif this time.