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“Hamilton” Review: The Main Character, Historical Controversy

Hamilton is an American musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda, which tells the story of the adventures of Alexander Hamilton, a politician of the late 18th century. The plot is presented in two acts, and the first act begins with the departure of Hamilton to the mainland to receive an education. There young Hamilton makes acquaintances with Aaron Burr, John Lawrence, Marquis de Lafayette, and Hercules Mulligan. In the narrative course, the revolution begins, and Hamilton is appointed the right-hand man of George Washington on the revolutionaries’ side. Subsequently, Hamilton starts a relationship with Eliza, and they are expecting a child. During the revolution, Charles Lee was appointed commander of the troops, who lets out unfair slander about Washington, due to which Lawrence challenges him to a duel. The first act ends with the birth of Philip’s son in the Hamilton family and Feodosia’s daughter in the Aaron Burr family.

The second act begins with a prairie between Thomas Jefferson and Hamilton about the country’s new financial policy. Further, Maria Reynolds turns to the main character for help, resulting in which she seduces him. In several conflicts with Burr, Hamilton reproaches him for giving up principles for his benefit. When Washington leaves office, John Adams is appointed president, but a race flares up between Burr and Jefferson for the presidency later in the play. Hamilton’s son, Philip, dies in a duel. Hamilton defends Jefferson after gaining an equal number of votes with Burr, resulting in Burr challenging Hamilton to a duel and killing him. In the end, Washington recalls that a person cannot influence his posthumous memory.

The Main Character

Differences with Other Characters

The ideas of Alexander Hamilton were recognized as a genius only after his death. He was a man of honor, which he proved more than once both in war and in a duel with Burr, where he fired into the air. His son did the same, although, in the family with Eliza, not everything was cloudless for him. Even despite his betrayal, Hamilton remained in history as the “founding father” of the United States. His positions seemed pioneering for America at the time, yet he was successful in defending and defending them. He was a supporter of the American Revolution, but he refused to intervene in the French Revolution when he came to power. Thomas Jefferson did not share his position on the war, and neither did George Washington. However, he managed to maintain formal relations with them. The closest in character to Hamilton was his friend Lawrence, who tragically died at the end of the war. Hamilton’s disagreement with his former friend Burr led to a duel since Hamilton valued the honor and principles of his own life while Burr sacrificed them to get vacancies.

Hamilton’s Relationships

Hamilton’s fleeting relationship, which cast doubt on his loyalty to his wife, turned out to be filled with blackmail and a desire for personal gain. Nevertheless, Hamilton manages to get his wife Eliza’s petition for all his misdeeds: a public confession of treason, skipping his son’s birthday, and refusing to accompany his wife on the trip. It is quite difficult for such a person, always full of strength and ideas, to be torn between responsible work and family life, primarily when his work is associated with managing a large country.

Early America

At the turn of the century, America was troubled. The spirit of the revolution hung in the air, everyone expected changes, but many had their ideas about the coming changes. When King George III retreated and resigned from power, the joy of victory was not too long. A conflict of interest arose with Madison, who opposed the centralization of the economy and the deprivation of certain states’ rights. In those days, slavery still took place in America, but Hamilton’s ideas were already in the nature of freedom, which would lay the foundation for a future tolerant society. The authorities did not recognize Hamilton’s foresight during his lifetime, but he did not meet his death in hostilities or the political arena.

Christian Founding

The Christian interpretation of this play takes place at least because of the similarity of the narrative motives. Hamilton’s path from a beggar to an almost presidential post is guided only by good intentions, honor, and nobility. For his sins, he bears punishment, but by his actions, he is forgiven, admitting his mistakes. However, the play has several inconsistencies with the real story, which critics have noted and the corresponding negative consequences they carry.

Historical Controversy

In the play, Hamilton is presented as one of the brightest Founding Fathers of the United States. Except for one detail of his biography with treason, he appeared as a spectator as a positive character. However, even though Hamilton was generally against slavery, his family owned several colored slaves (Hogeland et al., 2018). The play director tried to hide this fact and invited people of different races to the cast. However, slavery was not raised in the play, and controversy about the violation of the historical picture of America’s founding in conflict with the current trends of tolerance and respect continues to this day.

On the other hand, the performance made it possible to interest many people, including children, in studying the history of their state. Hamilton only complied with the rules of the time. The author’s idea of the musical excluded the detail of slavery, not to incite public resonance in modern times. Hamilton founded the current New York society, where the ideas of tolerance and freedom towards slaves would not have arisen without its origins. Hence this fact results in central conflict between liberals and conservatives (Magness, 2017). Liberals advocate freedom and equality, but their criticism prevents the popularization of American history among the population. Conservatives at present are restrained in their views. Nevertheless, they contribute to the development of not only knowledge of history but also the ability of everyone to look at it from their point of view.


Hogeland, W., Freeman, J. B., Monteiro, L. D., Harris, L. M., Allgor, C., O’Malley, M. & Herrera, P. (2018). Historians on Hamilton: How a Blockbuster Musical is Restaging America’s Past. Rutgers University Press.

Magness, P. (2017). Alexander Hamilton as Immigrant: Musical Mythology Meets Federalist Reality. The Independent Review, 21(4), 497-508. Web.

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StudyKraken. "“Hamilton” Review: The Main Character, Historical Controversy." December 22, 2022.


StudyKraken. 2022. "“Hamilton” Review: The Main Character, Historical Controversy." December 22, 2022.


StudyKraken. (2022) '“Hamilton” Review: The Main Character, Historical Controversy'. 22 December.

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