I love this musical. The cast has great voices, the style of music changes for some characters, giving more personality to them! Also, the cast not being entirely white doesn’t hurt in the PC world we live in. So what do I do? I look at how war is handled in it, just like everything else I love! 🙂 (DISCLAIMER: I have only listened to the music and seen a few clips)
This is a musical all about the “ten dollar founding father without a father” Alexander Hamilton. While mentioning his childhood, the actual timeline of the musical starts with his arrival to America and his first meeting of Aaron Burr in New York. From here on, we follow Hamilton’s antics as he attempts to help start the US and make a name for himself.
But starting with just the second song, we can see Hamilton’s obsession with making a name for himself, specifically through being a great military man. I mean, he tells Burr, a fellow orphan, that he “wishes there was a war! Then we could prove that we’re worth more. Than anyone bargained for…” Then in the next song, he mentions he wouldn’t mind dying in the Revolutionary War if it will free the US from Britain and make a name for himself. So, in the first 2/3 songs in which Alex is featured, he talks about dying war. Hamilton, you need to chill a bit. Just because you join in a war, does not mean you will necessarily die. The 4th song of Alex is in says how their (Alex and his bros Laurens, Mulligan and Lafayette) children will tell tales of his bravery, because he “may not live to see our glory!” Wow Alex. You are very obsessed with death. Even if there were a lot of soldiers who died, that doesn’t mean you have to, and just because you die, doesn’t mean you are going to make a name for yourself (I mean, more soldiers died of disease than their actual battle wounds, so…no “name” for them) There are more instances from there on in the songs Alex is a part of, but going through all of them would be a lot, and I think it would get a bit dull. But, in summary, this man doesn’t fear death, and is willing to do most anything to get his name into the history books.
One thing that can be gained from Hamilton’s feelings on war though is how not against war he is. For being so progressive for the time ( he was an abolitionist in a time of slavery), he wasn’t against war. But this is easily explainable: being a soldier was seen as a sign of manhood. Since Hamilton has been as established as a progressive, one has to wonder what his feelings on war would be in modern times.
Would he be like many people today who still glorify war? Or would he be like Billy Lynn in Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk? Well, most people who promote war are considered conservative. Also, the modern wars the America take part in are often promoted by military-industrial complex, meaning that there is not a real good reason for going to war. Since Hamilton would be progressive, he probably would not back the wars of today. He would probably actually be more along the lines of the anti-war people on the internet. He would still anger many people because of his beliefs, and get into fights like he did in reality, but they would be for different reasons.
(So yea, this was more of an excuse to write about Hamilton. But whatever.)