Hamilton (Original Broadway Cast Recording) Summary & Study Guide

Various Artists
This Study Guide consists of approximately 54 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Hamilton.
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Hamilton (Original Broadway Cast Recording) Summary & Study Guide Description

Hamilton (Original Broadway Cast Recording) Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on Hamilton (Original Broadway Cast Recording) by Various Artists.

Hamilton: An American Musical Book, Music, and Lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Original Broadway Cast Soundtrack Recording. 2016. Atlantic Recording Corporation. The recording is a two-disc CD recording with most of the scenes/songs from the show, and includes a booklet with a transcription of its lyrics. The piece is written in a primarily rap/hip-hop style, with elements of rhythm-and-blues and the traditional Broadway musical.

Hamilton: An American Musical is the history-inspired story of the life and political career of Alexander Hamilton, one of the key players in the American Revolutionary War and in the shaping the government, policies, and Constitution of the newly born United States of America. The recording (show) begins with narration from Aaron Burr, who was one of Hamilton’s contemporaries – a sometime friend, a frequent critic, and an occasional legal partner. There are references in Burr’s opening narration to the trajectory of Hamilton’s life, including a reference to how Burr shot him. This initial narration also the show’s narrative style and vocabulary, most particularly its emphasis on a storytelling language based primarily on the rhythms and melodies of rap.

The narrative of Act One (the first of the two-disc set) is anchored by a portrayal of the political and military actions before, during, and after the American Revolution. Hamilton, along with a trio of allies and friends and supported by the admiring mentorship of future President George Washington, plays a key role in both sides of those actions, his outspoken and impulsive intelligence sometimes getting him into difficulty with the more thoughtful Burr and others, including Washington. They also draw him closer to two women, Angelica and Eliza Schuyler, who play defining roles in his personal life. The personal aspect of Hamilton’s story becomes something of a sub-plot in both the first and second acts of the show, counterpointing the more idea-driven main story with moments that explore Hamilton’s inner life – his emotions, his memories, his longings.

By the end of Act 1, the American Revolution has been won by the rebels; Hamilton’s relationship with Washington is as secure as his relationship with Burr is uneasy; and, in his personal life, he has married Eliza, who has given birth to their son, Philip. As Act 2 begins, Hamilton faces increased opposition to his ideas, and to his influence with Washington, from Thomas Jefferson, newly returned from France and who has allies in the government. Jefferson’s attempts to remove Hamilton from his position are supported by Burr, who is both resentful of Hamilton and angry that he (Burr) has not been as much a part of the formation of the new American government as he believes he should have been. Tension between Burr and Hamilton intensifies as Hamilton’s personal and political lives are both shaken to their core by revelations of a sexual affair, in the aftermath of which Hamilton’s son loses his life defending his father’s honor. Eventually, the conflict between Hamilton and Burr reaches a point of ultimate confrontation: a duel between the two men that results in Hamilton’s death.

In the musical’s final scene, an epilogue of sorts, Eliza and the rest of the company sing of how Hamilton’s history was shaped, over time, by people determined to see his reputation ruined. There are also references to what Eliza, and others, did to improve Hamilton’s reputation, raising one of the show’s central thematic questions as they sing “Who lives? Who dies? Who tells your story?”

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This section contains 588 words
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