The Signifigance of Gender in "Hamilton: An American Musical"

The Signifigance of Gender in "Hamilton: An American Musical"

Who lives, who dies, who tells their story?

We all know it's all about the A-l-e-x-a-n-d-e-r (we are meant to be...).
Alexander Hamilton the main character of the musical and his feats are the primary focus and advancing his career is his singular objective throughout the musical. Obviously it's more than simply being an ambitious workaholic or embodying similar modern traits; Alexander has an overwhelming desire to prove himself. The gift and curse of his talent and ambition that allow him to do just that and face the fallout are depicted alongside his personal relationships with friends, coworkers, love interests, and family.
There's no question of the love that's portrayed in the story no matter where it comes from. Alexander and Eliza loved each other, there was familial love between he and Peggy...a bit more than familial love and affection between he and Alexander. Martha and George loved each other, and Aaron Burr loved his Theodosia. However the way these situations of love are shown and the position of women -- especially the Schuyler sisters -- in colonial 18th century society as portrayed in "Hamilton" are very interesting and lend to the story greatly past simply telling the story of a nation and one of its greatest leaders/founding fathers.
Angelicaaa, Eliiza...and Peggy! The Schuyler sisters are the daughters of Senator Schuyler who just happen to be staying in the city because of the war. They're beautiful with great minds and are from a higher class than Burr and Hamilton. This is acknowledged in their song "The Schuyler Sisters" and in the song "Satisfied" . This comes up in the "The Schuyler Sisters" when Burr says "Excuse me miss I know it's not funny but you perfume smells like your daddy's got money. Why you slummin' in the city in your fancy heels you searchin' for an urchin who can give you ideals?"
Burr not only uses a stereotype to introduce himself to Angelica --She's a rich girl who likes bad boys and bad things like poor people. Only hanging out in a less high end part of Manhattan for fun and exoticism. -- He also insinuates that she would only be "slumming it" with people like him in this area to find someone "who can give her ideals". This not only assumes that she would be looking in the community of students in town for not only "a mind at work" but ideas that she doesn't already have herself; ones that she would inquire from Burr a man who is allowed and expected to attend school --university or otherwise-- instead of staying home and raising kids and the like.

I believe this does not read too much into anything and is quite poignant/ironic to start off a song not only about the revolution but Angelica Schuyler taking her feminist ideals into a new nation. In her conversation with Burr she goes on to reference "Common Sense" by Thomas Paine (following that with the fact that men are put off by her intelligence calling her "intense" and "insane", the intimidating and unnecessary nature of a smart and passionate woman as well as the stereotype of women being automatically crazy simply for stating their ideals or existing. There's so much history here I'm surprised Lin didn't sneak more in and have her say "hysterical" somehow instead of insane. ) and "The Declaration of Independence" the words of the latter which wasn't written yet at the time. Her words are "We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal--and when I meet Thomas Jefferson I'm 'a compel him to include women in the sequel!"

However, as far as we know and were shown in the musical Angelica didn't meet the future Secretary of State and women had to write their own sequel in the form of "The Declaration of Sentiments" a century later; holding the truth to be self evident that all men and women are created equal. Here all of the grievances that men in American society have committed against women --that are also true in the time Angelica Schuyler-- are listed the same way that those of King George were in The Declaration of Independence. Women were self-aware about their situation and sought action. It isn't that Angelica --or her sister-- aren't feminists because they didn't seem to fight for womens' rights the way women like Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott and more did decades; they weren't the focus of the work enough for that to be the case --neither was feminism-- and Angelica was a lot like Abigail Adams in that she implored men to "remember the ladies."
In "Satisfied" Angelica is relaying the realizations she experienced that led her to redirect Alexander to her sister Eliza at the winter's ball --who seemed to be "Helpless"ly smitten with him by the look in her eyes--. Angelica asked Alexander where his family was from and assumed that he was mainly interested in her to further his position. Whether or not that was true she was correct in accordance with the times that someone would have wanted to marry her for that reason and that as the oldest daughter of a sonless father it's her responsibility to marry and not for love but for status and money. Of course it's the assumption in our time that that's the way most if not all marriages proceeded then and it doesn't necessarily mean that she or any other woman wouldn't love their husband or couldn't.

Angelica in "Satisfied" does embody a bit of the self-awareness that later womens' rights activists had in that she knows her position in life in society. However the idea is that there is nothing she can do. She states: "I'm a girl in a world in which my only job is to marry rich my father has no sons so I'm the one who has to social climb for one. So I'm the oldest and the wittiest in New York City is insidious and Alexander is penniless ha! That doesn't mean I want him any less". Angelica tasks herself with being smart and pretty because she has to land a rich husband to carry on her father's legacy and support herself. She goes on into class and position more as a reason she senses for it to be ill-advised for her as the heir to pursue him: "He's after me 'cause I'm a Schuyler sister that elevates his status, I'd have to be naïve to set that aside maybe that is why .I introduce him to Eliza now that's his bride. Nice going Angelica, he was right. You will never be satisfied". Angelica elevates herself up naturally; growing up as a Schuyler sister she's used to the idea that she would grow up and find a rich man to sustain her and her legacy. Thus this naturally makes her feel even more above someone like Alexander without knowing it.

Angelica's third fundamental truth is that she knows that her kind sister would say nothing if she told her how she felt about Alexander and accept it even if she was actually lying when she said that she was okay. Angelica says this while having this flashback at Eliza and Alexander's wedding and her sister whom she described as the most trusting and kind person you would ever find; her sister Elizabeth who in "Helpless" said that she told Angelica that she was interested in Alexander before Angelica sauntered over to him and began conversation-- then for some reason Eliza's helpless eyes were a big surprise-- and Angelica acts as if she's performing the hugest sacrifice giving her sister a husband in Alexander.
Although in this society one can't blame her since a husband is the greatest gift a woman could have--next to a baby, of course. Also one that Eliza Schuyler Hamilton was legitimately scared she wouldn't receive in "Helpless" when Alexander had to get her father's blessing. Then Angelica just goes on congratulating them as Alexander's "sister" now and great friend. The smart one instead of simply the wife.

In "A Winter's Ball" misogyny is rampant --it's featured in a lot of songs where it's only the guys Alexander, John Laurens, Lafayette, Hercules Mulligan, and Aaron Burr-- with the Burr declaring that there are a lot of things that Alexander has going for him but the thing that they have in common is their reliability with the --ladies! With the rest of the guys joining in to rejoice the amount ripe for the picking. Oh yeah, the guys are definitely out for blood: "There are so many to deflower!" . A woman at this time would be labelled a whore --This is exactly what James Reynolds calls Mariah his wife while addressing Alexander in a letter not mentioning love or trust broken. His property was used and that was the wrong committed. -- for being with a lot of men sexually/romantically and being famous for that -- "Martha Washington named her feral tom cat after him" -- and then there's Alexander Hamilton (and the men that respected/applauded him for it). Burr brings Angelica's fears to light and states that marrying a Schuyler sister --any sister apparently-- leads straight to wealth and to this Alexander replies: "Is it a question of if, Burr, or which one?" The sense of entitlement to each other --also the opposite sex for Hamilton, Burr, and cohorts-- is clear between Angelica and Alexander.
In "The Story of Tonight (reprise)" misogynistic stereotypes of the ball and chain --Eliza controlling Alexander and never allowing freedom again even though in this time the complete opposite would be and was true; Eliza being the one who has little to no freedom-- are about and Burr's romantic interest is revealed. Theodosia is the wife of a British officer and Aaron Burr her saving grace in a time where she's alone while her husband is at war. Hamilton says go after who you love even if she's married. Burr has no guarantee that they'll ever get to be together and yet he's there.

--Alexander is confused as to why he doesn't simply "get her" and Burr has the mentality that he has to wait for what's meant to come of their love--.
This is romantic but also shows the womens' roles in the time as less permanent and consequential.
Angelica marries to someone rich who will take care of her for the rest of her days --the hope and purpose of women then-- . Angelica did not marry for money and her husband is tolerable at best: "He is not a lot of fun, but there's no one who can match you for turn of phrase. My Alexander" . (Notice: her Alexander...not Eliza's or just plain Alexander. ) This is how Angelica describes it in "Nonstop" in which Eliza wonders if she could have a fraction of his time. This is in relation to career and relationship but it's a theme all though out the play. She asks this of him here because he's busy writing the United States Constitution and advocating for it. She pleaded with him the same way when he was away at war and she was pregnant and alone. She asks of him merely to have some time spent with his family but you know Alexander. He can't miss his shot.

This leads to Angelica's dearest Alexander being alone in the capital and falling in with Mariah Reynolds. He fell in alright, but not in love. Alexander still reserved that for his Eliza --at least--. Mrs. Mariah Reynolds described Alexander as a "man of honor" and claimed that her husband was beating her, mistreating her, and then abandoned her. As we know having a husband was the way women primarily survived in this time so the supposed abandoning especially would have put Mrs. Reynolds in the role of a damsel in distress. That along with her sultry demeanor, the way she catered to Alexander's ego, and maybe even the way she spread her legs and begged him to stay....that would be more so the reason Alexander fell for it.
It is a popular trope that men are suckers for women who need the taking care of that their society begets --especially if they need it desperately-- so the way and reason that he succumbed to her enticing isn't surprising. In the song "Say No To This" Alexander implores God to "show him how to say no to this...." because he doesn't know how and she looks so helpless "and her body's saying, hell yes" .
Alexander doesn't know how to simply say no and walk away from a situation that clearly shows him cheating on his wife. The way that Mariah is depicted one could easily forget that she even has a husband and that she isn't a literal whore --the definition being one who is paid for sex-- who was down financially. One could chalk it up to being an impossible to foresee situation and Alexander being "too kind sir" that would have been potentially forgivable in Eliza's eyes if he hadn't continued to see her and if this one night that he couldn't say no to didn't turn into an all our affair.
The affair only came to light because Mr. James Reynolds somehow found out and only wanted money from Alexander. He called his wife a whore instead of being mad at Alexander for sleeping with her; he condemns her instead of feeling betrayed because their marriage too was not one of love.

Alexander did not love Mariah Reynolds. She must have developed feelings for him beyond lust because she was broken up about him leaving her on her own. He was disillusioned with the damsel role she embodied when she no longer was convenient for him --and yet she was more a damsel now than ever. If her husband was beating and mistreating her before he probably would have then--.

Alexander Hamilton and James Reynolds had one important thing in common; when it comes to their wives and their love lives they only cared about their reputations. Hamilton publishing the Reynolds Pamphlet after Jefferson threatened a false political scandal --He was "clearing his name" -- and Mr. Reynolds telling Alexander that "he made the wrong sucker a cuckhold!" --a word for a man whose wife was unfaithful--. To James Reynolds his reputation mattered not the fact that his wife betrayed him or that she was unhappy enough to do so, and for Alexander Hamilton his reputation --which was tied to his career-- mattered a whole lot more than how his wife --his Eliza-- would feel not only about the affair but also about the fact that he was publishing the story and the proof for all to see --before she had any knowledge of it--.
In "Burn" Eliza Schuyler Hamilton writes herself out of the narrative. History does not get to see how she reacted. Alexander's words made her fall in love with him and he used them to destroy that love. He brought Mariah Reynolds into their marriage bed with no regard for her as another living person who would care. She didn't once come to mind between his letters between he and his mistress and yet he called himself her husband. Eliza burns her treasured love letters between she and Alexander and says all he has now are the memories of when he was hers...forfeiting his right to their bed and their love. --This is done because history truly doesn't know what Eliza Hamilton's reaction to the affair was. It wasn't recorded anyway--
This is Alexander's fall from grace. Angelica describes him as "an Icarus who flew too close to the sun" and Jefferson and others jeered "you're never gonna be president now".
Again, I repeat that this does not mean there wasn't love between Eliza and Alexander. Legitimate love that proved the necessity and beauty of their marriage --never minding the affair or his feelings for his dearest, Angelica-- . This is why Eliza wrote herself back into the narrative in "It's Quiet Uptown" . An older Eliza and Alexander are drawn back into each other's arms and company by the loss of their son Philip in a duel defending his father's honor. It's in bad taste to call it hubris but not entirely as it does have accuracy.
The company minus Alexander and Eliza sing the profound words that define the situation. Sheer unimaginable forgiveness and loss.
All they have is each other now and the town watching her by his side--until the very end. Alexander suffers the same fate as his son --dies defending the honor of Alexander Hamilton-- and before passing laments for Eliza saying that he'll see her on the other side in "The World Was Wide Enough" . Eliza is left behind to carry on his legacy the one he started and fought so hard for she is the one that makes sure the Washington monument is built and she tells Alexander's story.
"Hamilton: An American Musical" does so much for history. Lin-Manuel Miranda is a genius and besides instilling feelings of inspiration and joy in viewers and listeners among various other profound emotions he gives the women agency! Do you hear about Eliza Hamilton in your history books? What about Angelica? No? Maybe one mention of Abigail Adams' "Remember the ladies"? Yeah, same here. This story is so amazing. It tells the truth and it tells each and every story. Everyone's history is significant and so many women's tales and thoughts were swept under the rug because they couldn't read and write or simply because their story was not important enough. The "best of wives and women" 's story was told and Alexander Hamilton's was because of her. This offers a great lesson in feminism and appreciation to us all as well as the rest of the play-- not sugarcoating the truth.

Cover Image Credit:

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35 Major Life Facts According To Nick Miller

"All booze is good booze, unless it's weak booze."

Fact: If you watch "New Girl," you love Nick Miller.

You can't help it. He's an adorable, lovable mess of a man and you look forward to seeing him and his shenanigans each week. While living the infamous and incomparable life of Nick Miller, and obviously Julius Pepperwood— he has learned many valuable laws of the land. And, although Nick refuses to learn anything from anyone besides his mysterious, old Asian friend Tran, he does have a few lessons he'd like to teach us.

Here are 35 facts of life according to 'Nick Milla Nick Milla':

1. Drinking keeps you healthy.

"I'm not gonna get sick. No germ can live in a body that is 65% beer."

2. Dinosaurs never existed.

"I don't believe dinosaurs existed. I've seen the science. I don't believe it."

3. A paper bag is a bank.

"A bank is just a paper bag but with fancier walls."

4. Having sex is similar to delivering mail.

"I'm like a mailman, except instead of mail it's hot sex that I deliver."

5. Moonwalking is a foolproof way to get out of any awkward situation.

Jess (about Nick): "Now he won't even talk to me. I saw him this morning and he just panic moonwalked away from me. He does that sometimes."

6. Using a movie reference is also a great way.

Cece: "Come on, get up!"

Nick: "No, I don't dance. I'm from that town in "Footloose."

7. There's no reason to wash towels.

Nick: "I don’t wash the towel. The towel washes me. Who washes a towel?"

Schmidt: "You never wash your towel?"

Nick: "What am I gonna do? Wash the shower next? Wash a bar of soap?"

8. Exes are meant to be avoided at all costs (especially if/unless they're Caroline)

"I don't deal with exes, they're part of the past. You burn them swiftly and you give their ashes to Poseidon."

9. IKEA furniture is not as intimidating as it looks.

"I'm building you the dresser. I love this stuff. It's like high-stakes LEGOs."

10. You don't need forks if you have hands.

Jess: "That's gross. Get a fork, man."

Nick: "I got two perfectly good forks at the end of my arms!"

11. Sex has a very specific definition.

"It's not sex until you put the straw in the coconut."

12. Doors are frustrating.

"I will push if I want to push! Come on! I hate doors!"

13. All booze is good booze.

"Can I get an alcohol?"

14. ...unless it's weak booze.

"Schmidt, that is melon flavored liquor! That is 4-proof! That is safe to drink while you're pregnant!"

15. Writers are like pregnant women.

Jess: "You know what that sound is? It's the sound of an empty uterus."

Nick: "I can top that easily. I'm having a hard time with my zombie novel."

Jess: "Are you really comparing a zombie novel to my ability to create life?"

Nick: "I'm a writer, Jess. We create life."

16. All bets must be honored.

"There is something serious I have to tell you about the future. The name of my first-born child needs to be Reginald VelJohnson. I lost a bet to Schmidt."

17. Adele's voice is like a combination of Fergie and Jesus.

"Adele is amazing."

18. Beyoncé is extremely trustworthy.

"I'd trust Beyoncé with my life. We be all night."

19. Fish, on the other hand, are not.

“Absolutely not. You know I don’t trust fish! They breathe water. That's crazy!"

20. Bar mitzvahs are terrifying.

Schmidt: "It's a bar mitzvah!"

Nick: "I am NOT watching a kid get circumcised!"

21. are blueberries.

Jess: "So far, Nick Miller's list of fears is sharks, tap water, real relationships..."

Nick: "And blueberries."

22. Take your time with difficult decisions. Don't be rash.

Jess: "You care about your burritos more than my children, Nick?"

Nick: "You're putting me in a tough spot!"

23. Getting into shape is not easy.

"I mean, I’m not doing squats or anything. I’m trying to eat less donuts."

24. We aren't meant to talk about our feelings.

"If we needed to talk about feelings, they would be called talkings."

25. We're all a little bit too hard on ourselves.

"The enemy is the inner me."

26. Freezing your underwear is a good way to cool off.

"Trust me, I'm wearing frozen underpants right now and I feel amazing. I'm gonna grab some old underpants and put a pair into the freezer for each of you."

27. Public nudity is normal.

"Everbody has been flashed countless times."

28. Alcohol is a cure-all.

"You treat an outside wound with rubbing alcohol. You treat an inside wound with drinking alcohol."

29. Horses are aliens.

"I believe horses are from outer-space."

30. Turtles should actually be called 'shell-beavers.'

Jess: "He calls turtles 'shell-beavers."

Nick: "Well, that's what they should be called."

31. Trench coats are hot.

"This coat has clean lines and pockets that don't quit, and it has room for your hips. And, when I wear it, I feel hot to trot!"

32. Sparkles are too.

"Now, my final bit of advice, and don't get sensitive on this, but you've got to change that top it's terrible and you've got to throw sparkles on. Sparkles are in. SPARKLES ARE IN."

33. Introspection can lead to a deeper knowing of oneself.

"I'm not convinced I know how to read. I've just memorized a lot of words."

34. It's important to live in the moment.

"I know this isn't gonna end well but the middle part is gonna be awesome."

35. Drinking makes you cooler.

Jess: "Drinking to be cool, Nick? That's not a real thing."

Nick: "That's the only thing in the world I know to be true."

Cover Image Credit: Hollywood Reporter

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The Zodiac Signs As Bath And Body Works Scents

Just in case you want to know what scent you are!

Bath and Body Works fans could be considered to be part of a cult. The scents draw you in as if calling your name, if you ever
wondered what your scent should be based on your zodiac sign, here it is!

Aries: Country Apple

The rather impulsive Aries takes their time picking and choosing the scents from Bath and Body Works. The soothing scent of a fresh apple orchard is just what they need on a daily basis to keep up with their shenanigans.

Taurus: Japanese Cherry Blossom

The personality of a Taurus is stubborn, or what I like to say, is stuck in their ways. When they first discovered this scent in middle school, this was it. This is the only scent you will find anywhere around a Taurus.

Libra: Pink Chiffon

Pink Chiffon is another cult classic. This best selling scent went out of style for a hot second but is back and bigger than ever.

Leo: Thousand Wishes

Thousand Wishes is a purr-fect scent for a Leo. The light scent adornes the wearer just the right amount to get the desired reaction from those around them.

Aquarius: Be Enchanted

The rather cold personality of an Aquarius is counteracted by the loving scent of Be Enchanted. The scent is just enough tenderness for the wearer to be relaxed.

Gemini: Moonlight Path

Gemini's constantly change their favorite scent and are in and out of the store almost weekly to by new lotions, candles, and body washes. You will never see a full empty bottle of anything, however, Moonlight Path is the scent they keep coming back to again and again.

Virgo: Sea Island Cotton

The clean personality of a Virgo must be matched with the clean scent of Sea Island Cotton.

Capricorn: Cucumber Melon

Another clean scent of Cucumber Melon is the exact thing a Capricorn needs. The balance and calming scents are what make this scent so attractive to a Capricorn.

Scorpio: Paris Amour

The light scent is what you would expect from an extreme sign like a Scorpio. The scent lightly washes over the wearer in almost a cloud that

Sagittarius: Cashmere Glow

Cashmere Glow is a perfect scent for the winter sign. The vanilla and golden peach scent is just the mixture that creates the perfect accessory in the chilly months.

Pisces: Warm Vanilla Sugar

This lovely scent accentuates the lovely personality of a Pisces. They can never get enough of this scent so they just keep buying and buying until they have a full stockpile.

Cancer: Velvet Sugar

Velvet Sugar is the perfect blend of red velvet and strawberries and a Cancer is always changing their mind. The wearer can tell if it is a more red velvet or strawberry kind of day, and that is the balance that they need in their lives.

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