Analysis Of Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton

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This year’s last word in speeches was first presented in 1790. In August of 2015, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hip-hop musical Hamilton (as in founding father Alexander) opened on Broadway. One of the musical’s most memorable moments, “Cabinet Battle #1,” includes arguments from both Hamilton — then Secretary of the Treasury — and his frequent political rival, Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, persuading Congress to vote for or against Hamilton’s proposal of a national bank. For its presentation to an assembly and consideration of the most advantageous course of action, “Cabinet Battle #1” is a pair of deliberative speeches. They’re also, by the way, a rap battle. Though the speeches’ content is rooted in centuries past and the delivery is timestamped with today, the rhetorical strategies defined by Aristotle are as present in Miranda’s lyrics as they would have been in Jefferson…show more content…
He accuses Jefferson of being “off getting high with the French” while “we — (being Hamilton and other true Americans, in this case directly associating him with George Washington, who was with Hamilton in the situation referred to here, the siege at Yorktown) — almost died in a trench.” In a final contrast to Hamilton himself, he describes Jefferson as “hesitant” and “reticent.” Hamilton, neither of those things, finishes with the mature “Damn, you’re in worse shape than the national debt is in / Sittin’ there useless as two shits / Hey, turn around, bend over, I’ll show you where my shoe fits.” By that point, the Congress is so involved that they don’t wait for a pause to laugh and they even provide a chanted accompaniment to the last lines before erupting into chaos. It takes George Washington to calm everyone down, and though Jefferson taunts that Hamilton doesn’t “have the votes,” Hamilton walks away from the battle the clear
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