Reshaping Historical Narrative in 'Hamilton' 11th Grade
Hamilton has proven to be a pivotal element in the American historical narrative. Both the musical’s content and artistic license speaks to the power of collective memory and our perceptions of the past. The alterations to historical narrative made in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit Broadway Musical Hamilton bridges the era of the American Revolution to current issues in American society.
Hamilton attempts to interweave the narrative of underrepresented individuals with that of America’s Founding Fathers. Historians grapple to determine the best perspective from which to present history. Should future generations be presented with stories of the trailblazing leaders who produced significant change, or should attention be focused on the common people? Should we focus on those who perhaps did not have a voice or were not recognized in the ‘official history’? Miranda’s creative choices are met with both critical acclaim for their boldness and backlash because of the historical inaccuracies rendered by artistic license in response to such questions. He utilizes a highly diverse cast to illustrate Hamilton’s story. In an interview, Miranda states “Our cast looks like America looks now, and that’s certainly intentional . . . It’s a way of...
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