Hamilton: An American Musical Analysis

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When Vice President of the United States of America, Mike Pence, went to watch the original cast of Hamilton: An American Musical perform, he did not expect an additional comment about the importance of diversity that the writer, Lin-Manuel Miranda, added in for the him to hear. Pence’s sudden departure from the theater halfway through the musical lead to the public questioning whether or not it was due to the pointed message that Miranda wrote in. Though there is no sure answer to that, it is clear that Miranda had successfully communicated his message about the importance of diversity in the nation to the audience. With the recent shifting of the focus on equal rights for minorities brought back to the front of national as well as global…show more content…
Professor of dance studies at the University of Buffalo, Ariel Nereson, claims that Hamilton is reminiscent of traditional Broadway in that he centers the story around the city of New York, a place well known for its Broadway scene. This is explicit in lyrics such as “In New York you can be a new man” in the opening song “Alexander Hamilton.” It also ties the idea of celebrating the importance of diversity with the time that Broadway became popular in New York, when the children of immigrants were “emerging as the city’s demographically and culturally dominant group” (Kasinitz, 3). Additionally, though there is much emphasis put on the use of modern sounds, the musical itself still follows the structure that most other Broadway musicals have always followed. The songs themselves have reprises later on in the show, a signature trait of classic musicals. Not only does Miranda allude to historic events (outside of the musical as well as inside) but the musical itself is brimming with allusions to past popular R&B and hip-hop artists. One of the most obvious examples are in the song “Ten Duel Commandments.” This song directly mirrors Notorious B.I.G.’s “Ten Crack Commandments” (Kasinitz, 3) and though Miranda reforms it in a way to make his song about dueling instead of drug dealing, the underlying idea is more or less the same.…show more content…
The musical’s revolutionary twist on the classic Broadway genre to incorporate hip-hop music showcases America’s diverse population through music and theater. Miranda links these ideas to the music he creates by purposefully crafting each individual character’s unique musical sound to hip-hop and by alluding to cultural aspects of the genre itself to celebrate its place in society and what it has achieved over the years despite the struggle that comes with being a person of color. Though Hamilton faces criticism for being historically inaccurate, the “inaccuracies” of casting historically white figures as people of color highlights the musical’s strong hip-hop influences. By doing this, Miranda is able to generate discussion around the importance of embracing the diversity that lies at America’s very foundation as well as what needs to be done to promote the equal treatment of the minority population that is not only an important part of America’s past but also its

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