By: Danielle Spitz, IATG Contributor April 22, 2016
Like most of the world, I am utterly and completely obsessed with the unorthodox Broadway, hip-hop marriage that is Hamilton the Musical. It has become the soundtrack of my life; I blast to it on loop and force my friends to listen as well. But I love the show for other reasons besides its addicting soundtrack and enticing plot. The female characters, Eliza and Angelica Schuyler, may be two of the strongest female roles The Great White Way has ever seen.
For those who haven’t gotten the chance to listen to the soundtrack or see the show live, the musical recounts the life of founding father Alexander Hamilton. Eliza was Hamilton’s wife and Angelica was Eliza’s sister, whose love for Alexander was overshadowed by her love for her sister.
The show already pushes traditional boundaries and creates theatrical history by having members of its diverse cast portray white characters, such as Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, but the musical’s ability to tap into women’s issues in a time in which women were undervalued and underrepresented deserves a standing ovation of its own.
Rather than writing female characters who stand behind the leading male roles during their efforts to achieve greatness and establish the Land of the Free, writer, Lin-Manuel Miranda, succeeded in creating strong and independent women who aren’t afraid to stand side-by-side these powerful men and propose ideas of their own.
The audience learns how strong-willed these women are from their very first song, in which Angelica fights for the notion that women should be considered equal to men. Eliza goes on to establish the first private orphanage in New York City and makes her own history, creating a name for herself besides Hamilton’s wife.
In a show centered around the founding of our nation, I was ecstatic to see the integration of women’s issues, a topic that some might say was irrelevant considering the other historical circumstances.
The show was unapologetically feminist and was able to convey women’s untapped potential as indispensable assets of society without rewriting history.
By balancing the unfair treatment women endured on a day-to-day basis with highlighting Eliza and Angelica’s perseverance, the musical was able to demonstrate the continuous battle for gender equality that women continue to fight today.
The vivacity of these historical women, as depicted in the musical, was incredibly inspiring and proof that determination does not go unnoticed. It is because of women like Eliza and Angelica that we have the rights that we do, and it is our duty as women to make our voices heard and create a lasting impression for future historians to recognize both our hardships and our achievements.
How do you use your voice against inequality and underrepresentation? Take to social and share this badass soundtrack or check out the live show and tell us what you think!
High school student Danielle Spitz is an aspiring journalist. She writes for her school newspaper and of course IATG! She loves reading, writing, running, binge watching anything on Netflix, shopping, and contributing to a world in which women build each other up and receive the respect they deserve.
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