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After discussing my paper with Dr. Burton, I’ve decided to give it a few tweaks. My new focus will be focusing in on Shakespeare’s history plays and comparing them to Hamilton. I hope to identify some of the aspects of Shakespeare’s plays that Lin Manuel Miranda has drawn upon that make the genre so successful.
My working title is “History Has its Eyes on You: How Hamilton’s Success Stems from the History Plays of William Shakespeare.” Maybe that’s a little wordy…I am open to suggestions!
My working thesis is this: Though original in storyline and execution, Lin Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton achieves success as a historical play by following in the footsteps of William Shakespeare—incorporating well-developed and individual characters into the story, employing strong rhetoric in a new and exciting medium, and publishing at a politically and culturally relevant time.
Richard III. Dir. Clay Yurdin. Prod. Lewis Freedman. Creative Arts Television. Theatre in Video. Web. 12 Nov. 2016. http://search.alexanderstreet.com.erl.lib.byu.edu/view/work/657665
This is a 1957 performance of Richard III from BYU’s Shakespeare research guide. Since I was assigned to read Richard III and it’s also a history play, I thought it would be interesting to see how Shakespeare represented actual history through a semi-fictional story.
Hamilton’s America. Directed by Alex Horwitz. PBS Broadcasting, 2016. http://www.pbs.org/video/2365870668/
This is a documentary about the production of Lin Manuel Miranda’s famous musical, Hamilton. It has a lot of information about how Miranda got interested in the history of Alexander Hamilton, and his methods to make it interesting and relevant to a modern audience.
Media or Informal Online Sources
Morris, Cass. “#YayHamlet: What Shakespeare and Broadway’s Biggest Hit Have to Do with Each Other.” ASC Education, American Shakespeare Center. 12 November 2016. https://asc-blogs.com/2016/02/16/yayhamlet-what-shakespeare-and-broadways-biggest-hit-have-to-do-with-each-other/
This is an AWESOME blog post by a teacher who discusses how she gets her students to like Shakespeare. She does an in-depth analysis of the rhetorical devices found in Hamilton and compares them to those found in Shakespeare’s plays.
“Will Lin-Manuel Miranda surpass William Shakespeare in legacy?” Quora. 12 November 2016. https://www.quora.com/Will-Lin-Manuel-Miranda-surpass-William-Shakespeare-in-legacy
This is a forum that I found with a lot of different perspectives from literature buffs, Hamilton fanatics, and just average media consumers. I think it will be helpful to understand what the general reaction is to Hamilton (why people like it so much/think it’s so successful) as well as why Shakespeare’s history plays have withstood the test of time.