There are only two things that I devote my entire attention to on my Twitter feed, which are BTS and Hamilton.
Recently, Lin Manuel Miranda, the wonderful father of the musical about founding fathers, has released “First Burn” as part of #Hamildrop. Hamildrop basically continues the legacy of the groundbreaking musical Hamilton with the release of new Hamilton related content for every month of 2018. (I know many people are already scrolling away, annoyed at this “old” and “overhyped” musical, but it is art and I stand by it!)
“Burn” is the song in Hamilton that follows the revelation of Alexander Hamilton’s cheating with Maria Reynolds. In the song, Eliza Hamilton, Alexander Hamilton’s wife, sings of burning the letters that he wrote to her.
In this version that is in the final musical, Eliza is burning the letters to destroy the best version of Hamilton that could possibly redeem him to the public. But in the new Hamildrop, which is the original first draft of “Burn,” Eliza is, as Lin Manuel Miranda says, “purely reactionary.”
This Eliza is burning with n purpose except anger. However, this Hamildrop made me realize how strong of a character Eliza is. I was able to see her with new eyes and listen to her lines all over again. If you aren’t familiar with the musical, IT’S SO SO SO GOOD, PLEASE LISTEN. But if musical theater ain’t yo thang, that’s okay, too. All you have to know for this is that the character of Eliza Hamilton has an older sister named Angelica and she is the one most will point to and say, “That’s a badass woman.”
Angelica leads the song “The Schuyler Sisters” in which she sings about trying to find a man whose mind is at work. Not just a great face. While on the other end, Eliza sings “Helpless” about falling helplessly in love with Alexander. So, it’s easy to think that Eliza is weak and… well… helpless.
But, she isn’t! In fact, Eliza is strong despite the death of her son, resilient in the face of Hamilton’s adversities, is the finale of the musical and the bearer of Alexander Hamilton’s legacy. She is both a gentle love and a tough love.
I forget that being a strong woman also can mean being a gentle one as well. Even though Eliza isn’t as head strong as her sister doesn’t mean she isn’t strong. She is the moral compass of the musical, the woman who has weathered it all. She is this meme exactly: