Main characters (entire play)
The ten-dollar Founding Father without a father, Alexander Hamilton starts out as a penniless immigrant bastard but rises up in the ranks and becomes an aide to George Washington himself. After the American Revolution, he becomes one of the most prominent politicians of the young United States, creating USA's financial system, writing in defense of the Constitution and founding the Federalist Party.
- Ambiguously Bi: It's not clear whether he's not straight or just really close with his male friends. Much like in history.
- Ain't Too Proud to Beg: During his solo in "It's Quiet Uptown", after ruining his political reputation and relationship with his family, not to mention suffering the loss of his eldest son, Phillip, a devastated and depressed Alexander finally talks to Eliza, begging his wife not to leave him and let him stay with what remains of his family. Eliza finally forgives him.
- Ambition Is Evil: Played with. Hamilton is a heroic figure, but his ambition is either a virtue or a vice depending on the situation. Without it, he could have died penniless in the Caribbean at a young age, but it did ultimately destroy his career and personal life.
- Arc Words: His ambition and drive are evident in his catchphrases of "just you wait" (which contrasts with Burr's "willing to wait for it" attitude) and "not throwing away my shot" (which doubles as a nice bit of ironic Foreshadowing of his death in a duel).
- Author Avatar: Has a lot in common with Lin-Manuel Miranda, who played him in the original cast (and wrote the musical).
- Bastard Angst: Hamilton's illegitimate birth did nothing to help his family's situation in the Caribbean and Burr's narration always makes sure to bring it up to emphasize the opposition Alexander faced on his rise to the top.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: In "Right Hand Man", Hamilton claims that his younger self wished for a war. A war which ends up killing his closest friend, John Laurens.
- Break the Haughty: Philip's death finally breaks Hamilton's boundless ambition, with "It's Quiet Uptown" detailing how just living a quiet life with his family is at last enough for him.I spend hours in the garden. I walk alone to the store. And it's quiet uptown. I never liked the quiet before.
- Broken Ace: While the story downplays some of his own insecurities, it's still evident that Alexander feels like he'll slip at any moment, often thinking about how he'll meet his end and whether he's good enough to leave a legacy behind. Historically, especially during the war, he faced many trying periods in his life. Take this excerpt from a letter written to Laurens shortly after announcing his betrothal.Hamilton: The truth is I am an unlucky honest man that speaks my sentiments to all and with emphasis. I say this to you because you know it and will not charge me with vanity. I hate congress—I hate the army—I hate the world—I hate myself. The whole is a mass of fools and knaves. I could almost except you and Richard Kidder Meade. Adieu.
- Character Development: He becomes more wary of his actions' consequences, and more humble. Not much, but still.
- The Charmer: He's very reliable with the LADIES!note
- The Confidant: To his sister-in-law Peggy Schuyler, who starts to confide in him even before he marries Eliza.
- Create Your Own Villain: Repeatedly prods Aaron Burr over his indecisiveness, encouraging him to make a stand and do something with his life. Burr responds by running for Senate, defeating Hamilton's father-in-law for his seat, and setting off the rivalry that eventually ends in a Duel to the Death.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Hamilton goes through a few color changes throughout the show, he is first seen as one of the ensemble members wearing white at first then switching to tan as a student, then joining Washington's army wearing blue and once he's a statesman he switches to green then as he gets older, he wears black until the duel.
- Dark and Troubled Past: His childhood was the stuff of nightmares. Growing up poor with a financially ruined mother with a horrible ex-husband hounding her, Alexander was denounced as a bastard whore's child who saw all of his relatives die in front of him save his brother. Growing up in Nevis that historically had one of the most brutal death toles in slavery, constant attacks and fights with pirates, and greedy noblemen, not to mention surviving a hurricane, surviving the war was almost easy by comparison. For what the musical doesn't cover, you'll need a strong stomach.
- Determinator: Hamilton's most defining feature. He writes thousands of pages of work, becomes head of treasury at a very young age, and is one of the most influential people in American history - all thanks to his brains and sheer force of will.
- Disease Bleach: After Philip dies, the company notes that his hair has turned gray.
- Doting Parent: He's a very caring father, especially to his first-born, Philip. As one would expect, Alexander sinks into a deep depression over Philip's death.
- Do Wrong, Right: He might have had an affair and paid his mistress's blackmailing husband to stay quiet about it, but he kept his personal books balanced and didn't filch the Treasury to do so.
- Duel to the Death: In a case of Foregone Conclusion, he ends up dying in a duel of honor with Aaron Burr, a former friend of his.
- Dying Declaration of Love: Played With. During his big monologue in "The World Was Wide Enough", Hamilton's frantic soliloquy is calmed down when he thinks of Eliza and tells her that he'll "see [her] on the other side" before he is fatally shot by Burr.
- Exhaustion-Induced Idiocy: The first time he slept with Mariah Reynolds could be attributed to this considering he had been getting minimal sleep during the week. The other times... not so much.
- Famous Last Words: He says "raise a glass to freedom" before he points his pistol in the air and gets shot by Burr.
- Fatal Flaw: Pride. His low origins make him extremely touchy where matters of honor and public opinion are concerned, which ultimately leads to his public fall from grace and, later, death. Also see It's All About Me, below.
- Friendless Background: He calls Burr his first friend and mentions that he's never had a group of friends before meeting Laurens, Mulligan, and Lafayette.
- Gold Digger: Downplayed. Angelica realizes that Hamilton is eager to marry a Schuyler sister in order to secure status and funds. Nevertheless, she knows their attraction to each other (as well as Hamilton's later courtship of Angelica's sister Eliza) is sincere.
- Happily Married: With Eliza during the first act. The second act is when things start to sour as Alexander's unquenchable ambition puts a strain on their relationship, only for things to get even worse following the Reynold's pamphlet. It isn't until the death of their first son Phillip that he and Eliza are finally able to reconcile and restart their marriage. Then you have Hamilton's Duel to the Death...
- Hero with Bad Publicity: His public reputation is pretty much in shambles after he publishes his criticism of John Adams and the Reynolds Pamphlet.
- Heroic Bastard: As Burr never fails to remind us.Burr: How does a bastard, orphan, son of a whore and a Scotsman...rise to become a hero and a scholar?
- Historical Hero Upgrade:
- There are contradictory reports whether or not the real Alexander Hamilton ever owned slaves; however, there is evidence he at the very least traded them for his in-laws and there are entries showing he documented these property and acquisitions that he made. It is true that Hamilton was a member of an anti-slavery society as well, and he apparently supported a trade agreement with the Haitian government, but both instances were token gestures that never rose to any active policy measure during his lifetime, although some historians do credit him with helping along efforts to abolish the international slave trade, which Thomas Jefferson eventually did in 1807. note While it is true that Hamilton did originate as a white immigrant from the Caribbean, he actually helped to pass laws which made life for immigrants harder than before. By writing the Reynolds Pamphlet, he knowingly ruined Maria's life to save face, which the play doesn't focus on. The fact that he knowingly took advantage of a desperate, barely literate young mother eleven years his junior in a time in which she had no legitimate ways to get help is also never really touched on. He also was known to publish completely made-up rumors about Burr with the explicit intention to ruin him (a common tactic of politicians during this time period). This version of him, however, is a well-meaning Byronic Hero woobie who only did anything wrong by being tricked or seduced into it and only directly moves against Burr as a matter of principle after Burr has already done considerable damage to Alexander's career.
- Also the duel between him and Burr, and his own death, had an element of vindictiveness that's not as thoroughly explored in the play. With his political career in tatters, he mounted smear campaigns towards Burr as a culmination of a long-held animosity.note What really set Burr off was the publication of a letter Charles D. Cooper had sent to Philip Schuyler, which claimed that Alexander had said a particularly "despicable opinion", a nasty insult about him (what that insult is, is a Riddle for the Agesnote ). This, combined with Hamilton having screwed him out of both the presidency in 1800 and New York's gubernatorial election in 1804, provoked Burr to challenge him to a duel (which was not uncommon in that time among men of their class). Unwilling to lose face after the Reynolds scandal and his failed attempt at discrediting John Adams, Alexander denied any recollection of the insult and refused to make an apology. And likewise on the day of the duel, Hamilton brought the pistols (owned by his brother-in-law John Church), and the pistols he used had a secret hair trigger that gave him a secret advantage (however, accounts show that the hair trigger was not engaged during the duel). We don't know who shot first, but we know that both men shot, and he didn't shoot so far away from Burr (the bullet apparently struck a branch above Burr). note
- Hamilton's fractious relationship with John Adams is reduced to a brief expository song ("The Adams Administration"). Presumably because it's very difficult to paint his actions towards Adams in a positive light, undermining Adams' efforts to negotiate a peace treaty with France, using cabinet members Timothy Pickering, Oliver Wolcott and James McHenry to manipulate and undercut the President, then writing a pamphlet attacking Adams just before the 1800 election. In a panel interview, Miranda and Ron Chernow discussed this at some length and admitted that depicting Hamilton and Adams' feud in any detail would probably cause the audience to lose sympathy towards Hamilton.
- Hot-Blooded: He's hotheaded, passionate, brilliant, and itching to prove himself.
- Insecure Love Interest: Downplayed. "I know I don't deserve you, Eliza."
- Immigrant Patriotism: He was originally from the island of Nevis but is fiercely devoted to protecting and developing America. Despite his immigrant background being frequently brought up, he shows no loyalty or even fondness toward his homeland.
- Insufferable Genius: He's incredibly intelligent, but also inclined to demonstrate it at length, prompting the line "Why do you assume you're the smartest in the room?" Hamilton even admits that it makes him a less effective lawyer than Burr, because he always goes on and on to show off his smarts and Burr just gets to the point.
- It's All About Me:
- As a result of constantly trying to prove himself and win affirmation in the eyes of others, Hamilton is rather self-centered. Case in point; after he publishes the Reynolds Pamphlet and ruins his reputation, he automatically assumes Angelica has come from England to comfort him. Rather than, you know, her younger sister whom Hamilton has betrayed, cheated on and humiliated by the candid admission of his affair.
- It is played with in that Hamilton prizes his intelligence so much he doesn't recognize his other qualities. He mentions that he wrote Eliza until she fell in love with him, but Eliza fell in love with him on sight, regardless of his intellect or wit. Ironically, Eliza's sister Angelica comes to fall in love with his wit and banter, and immediately regrets their strictly platonic relationship.
- In a mit of meta-brilliance, whenever Alexander sings his name in the musical, he does so in his own melody, usually clashing with whatever song is being performed at the moment - showing that he's headstrong, confident and a bit out of tune with everyone else.
- It's Personal: When Burr removes Phillip Schuyler from his Senate seat, Alexander takes it very personally and it kills any friendship the two men still had.
- "I Want" Song: "Aaron Burr, Sir" and "My Shot," the former is about how he wants to succeed in life and be a part of something, while the latter is about what he envisions for America.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Hamilton is a brash know-it-all who doesn't care who he offends, but he cares deeply about his family, friends, and country.
- Jumped at the Call: He's desperate to prove himself, and knows full well that history has its eyes on him. During "Non-Stop", Washington starts making a lengthy apology for asking him to leave his family, but all Alexander wants to know is if he's going to be running the Treasury or State Department.
- Manipulative Bastard: The normally (overly) upfront and outspoken Hamilton can play the part of a wily politician if need be; "The Room Where It Happens" is a prime example of this, with Hamilton actually taking Burr's advice to "talk less, smile more".Burr: (disbelieving) You got more than you gave!
Hamilton: And I wanted what I got!
When you got skin in the game, you stay in the game,
And you don't get a win unless you're playing the game.
- This part is crucial, because up until this point in Act Two, Hamilton's verbosity and bluntness made him unpopular in Congress. He only gets anywhere getting his debt plan approved when he strokes Jefferson's ego a bit and arranges a quid pro quo with Madison for the nation's capital in exchange for the votes he needs.
- Motor Mouth: He's not as fast-talking as Lafayette or Angelica (who both get the fastest rapping parts in the musical), but he is extremely verbose and prone to lapsing into hours-long speeches both on paper and off. If Congressional documents are anything to go by, this was lifted straight from real life.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: He shares his name with the ancient Macedonian conqueror, and he has enough pride and ambition to deserve that name.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Publishing the Reynolds Pamphlet saves Hamilton from accusations of treason, but ruins his marriage, his reputation, and leads to his son dying in a duel.
- No Social Skills: He has a touch of this in his first scene, when he meets Aaron Burr. His first lines to Burr can be summed up as, "Oh my God, you're an orphan? Me too! We have so much in common! Wow, I wish there was a war. By the way, I may have punched a friend of yours in the face for calling me stupid. Do you want to be my friend?" (Hey, it worked!) This can be chalked up to him never having had friends before. He gets much better, and is The Charmer when he's with women.
- Nouveau Riche: Only came into money after marrying Eliza and becoming Secretary of the Treasury. Jefferson takes digs at him because of this.Jefferson: He knows nothing of loyalty — smells like new money, dresses like fake royalty
Desperate to rise above his station, everything he does betrays the ideals of our nation.
- Obnoxious In-Laws: Averted. Alexander adores Eliza's family, since he lost his own family at a young age, and they all accept him with open arms. He's close to both his sisters-in-law and becomes furious when Burr takes his father-in-law's seat in the Senate.
- Parental Abandonment: His father left him when he was ten and his mother died of a severe illness two years later.
- Parental Love Song: Shares "Dear Theodosia" with Burr, in which they sing to their young children about how they'll make America a better place for them.
- Passive-Aggressive Kombat: While normally abrasive and overtly confrontational, Hamilton can on occasion engage in underhanded putdowns (especially where Burr is concerned; see the entirety of "Your Obedient Servant").
- Protagonist Title: The main character of the musical.
- Rags to Riches: At the start of the show, he's a penniless, illegitimate orphan from the Caribbean. By the time Act I ends, he's a well-off Secretary of Treasury. (Marrying into a fabulously rich family definitely helped with the "well-off" part). (Of course, he ends Act II dead, and — though not mentioned — also in debt).
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The hotheaded, fast-talking, war-loving red oni to Burr's more pragmatic and slow to anger blue oni.
- The Resenter: It's implied that he resents Charles Lee for getting promoted over him and that is part of why he helps Laurens in his duel.
- Sanity Slippage Song:
- He becomes increasingly frantic throughout "The World Was Wide Enough", in which he is fatally shot by Burr.
- At least one blogger noted the similarities between "Hurricane" and a PTSD episode.
- Social Climber: As Jefferson quips, the penniless, immigrant Hamilton is "desperate to rise above his station". See Gold Digger, above.
- Son of a Whore: Actually referenced by trope name in the show's opening number (and many numbers after). Subverted in that his mother was not actually a prostitute, but rather spent time in prison for "prostitution" (i.e. having relationships out of wedlock).
- Too Much Information: Long-winded already in his writings and law practice, it takes a dark turn when he fully reveals the details of the Reynolds affair to the public. Even Thomas Jefferson is stunned.
- Tragic Bromance: Hamilton's closest friend, John Laurens, dies in a meaningless post-war skirmish; his death signals a shift in tone for the second act and prompts Hamilton to work even harder.
- What Beautiful Eyes!: Both Angelica and Eliza fawn over his lovely eyes.
- When You Coming Home, Dad?: He has phenomenal work ethic - to the detriment of his personal life. See Workaholic, below.
- "Take a Break" is Eliza lamenting over how he devotes more time to his duties as Secretary of the Treasury than to her and their children.
- "Non-Stop" lays the foundation for this tendency of his, but the real origin of it is "Tomorrow There'll Be More Of Us", where Hamilton receives word that John Laurens was killed in a pointless skirmish after the war had already ended, and he realizes how much more there is to do and how quickly his life could be snuffed out.
- Worthy Opponent: Despite their mutual acrimony, and even before his death, Jefferson sees him as this. After Hamilton textually curbstomps John Adams (who is on Hamilton's side), Madison is gleeful, but Jefferson is still wary.Jefferson: Hamilton is a host unto himself. As long as he can hold a pen he's a threat.
- X Meets Y: The show's casting calls describe his style as Eminem meets Sweeney Todd.
- You're Not My Father: Hamilton has a fight with Washington, his mentor and father figure, and reacts badly whenever Washington calls him "son". This is likely due to Hamilton's issues with his actual father, who abandoned him when he was ten.
Aaron Burr, Jr.
One of Hamilton's political rivals and for the most part, the narrator of the musical. Burr and Hamilton begin the story as good friends, but Burr's political ambitions and lack of strong beliefs drive a wedge in their relationship. Burr eventually gets elected as the third Vice President of the United States after losing to Jefferson.
- All-Knowing Singing Narrator: Burr acts as this; his "bastard, orphan, son of a whore" line (and variations thereof) is used to segue into the next segment of the story. He has some limitations however, usually reflecting gaps in historians' knowledge. Eliza takes over the narration at the end.
- Ambition Is Evil: As with Hamilton himself, this is played with. Late in the play, Burr proclaims that he wants to be in "the room where it happens" but still does not espouse any strong principles as he throws himself into politics — he seems to want power for the sake of having it.
- Anonymous Killer Narrator: The opening number is sung by show's whole cast, and the end of the song reveals their relations to the title character. The last one to describe himself, and the one who narrates throughout the show, is none other than Aaron Burr.And me? I'm the damn fool that shot him!
- Antagonist in Mourning: He really regrets killing Hamilton, even referring to himself as a fool for having done so. Most of the end of "The World Was Wide Enough" is Burr bemoaning the fact that he killed Hamilton, when really neither of them needed to die, and how he'll forever be painted a villain for this mistake. In real life, even close friends of Burr were notably disturbed by his seeming lack of remorse or reaction after shooting Hamilton. This changed slightly later in his life and he really was quoted with the "the world was wide enough for Hamilton and me" line.
- Anti-Villain: He gets a much more positive portrayal here than he does elsewhere. The show establishes that he's a complicated, conflicted man with admirable qualities and often highlights the fact that he and Hamilton are Not So Different. Arguably this play is the most positive portrayal of Burr that remains accessible to the average person.
- Arc Words: "Talk less, smile more" and "Wait/Waiting", demonstrating his caution and lack of decisiveness.
- Big Bad: His rivalry with Hamilton is constant throughout the play, and Act II sees this rivalry twisted in malice that ultimately leads to him fatally shooting Hamilton.
- Break the Haughty: Shooting Hamilton in a duel and realizing too late that Hamilton had no intention of shooting him finally breaks Burr's ambitions for power.I was too young and blind to see. I should have known, I should have known the world was wide enough, for both Hamilton and me.
- The Charmer: Like Hamilton, he's a bit of a ladies's man. At one point, he tries to hit on Angelica and fails rather spectacularly. He puts this to good use in the 1800 elections.Burr: Ladies, tell your husbands Vote for Burr!
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: During the opening number, the entire company (including Hamilton) is dressed in off-white - with the single exception of Burr, who's dressed in black. This makes him stand out as the play's narrator, marks him as the antagonist (and an Antagonist in Mourning at that).
- Compliment Backfire: He tries to praise Washington's evasive strategies when they meet. Washington hates being forced to evade and flee all the time and wants someone who has an idea of how to not fight that way, so he dismisses Burr.
- Composite Character: A minor example but Burr wasn't Charles Lee's second, Evan Edwards was.
- Deadpan Snarker: He is much dryer and succinct in his raps than Hamilton and basically everyone else in their group of friends. He is also snarky.
- Deuteragonist: To Hamilton's protagonist, and their differences fuel much of the conflict in the second act.
- The Ditherer: The Wishy-Washy type - it's almost his defining character trait. Burr definitely supports the revolution, but wants to make sure he's on the winning side before declaring that openly. He tells Hamilton that whilst he privately supports the new Constitution, he's unwilling to help write the Federalist Papers in case they turn out to be "backing the wrong horse". He's supportive of popular leaders such as Washington and Jefferson, but offers them no new ideas for fear that they might be controversial. Even when he admits that his grand goal is to be in "the room where it happens", he never says what he hopes to do once he's there - he's willing to just follow along with whoever's in power.
- Doting Parent: He adores his daughter Theodosia and only wants the best for her. His greatest fear during his duel with Hamilton is that his daughter will be orphaned and alone if he dies. (Historically, Burr was known to have supported the idea of women's equality and gave Theodosia an excellent education.)
- Establishing Character Moment: The cautious, noncommittal Burr gets a brilliant establishing first line:Hamilton: Pardon me — are you Aaron Burr, sir?
Burr: That depends. Who's asking?
- Et Tu, Brute?: Burr is shocked to learn that Hamilton supported Jefferson's bid for president instead of his, especially considering he and Hamilton had been on good terms and Hamilton had always hated Jefferson.
- Exact Words: When asked how he graduated from Princeton so quickly, he replies "It was my parents' dying wish before they passed." Hamilton assumes that, like him, Burr was motivated by their death to prove himself. In the Hamiltome, Lin-Manuel points out that Burr is neglecting to mention his father was the president of the college, which puts a new spin on Burr's words.
- Fatal Flaw: Sloth. His indecisiveness makes it hard for people to know what he stands for, or to trust him.
- Burr shows he's ready to follow Washington, but Washington needs someone to give him ideas and relieve the burden of the Revolution. Hamilton offers his talents and those of his friends as well to Washington, leading him to be Washington's "Right Hand Man."
- When having to choose between Burr and Jefferson, Hamilton admits while Jefferson isn't a friend, that at least Jefferson has ideals, while Burr seems to have none but what he thinks will give him power.
- Foil: To Hamilton. Hamilton wrote his way up the ranks and has no legacy to protect, Burr feels the need to protect his parents' legacy. Hamilton is a passionate go-getter not afraid to show his ambition, Burr prefers to stay cool and quiet about his chances. Hamilton often acts like an ass but stands for what he believe is right, while Burr is affable to those around him but stands for himself above all else.
- Final Boss: He is the final antagonist to confront Hamilton, and the one to kill him.
- Fourth-Wall Observer: He knows the audience is there and talks to them for most of the show. Sometimes other characters join in for a moment.
- The Friend Nobody Likes:
- Hamilton likes him enough but doesn't like that Burr lacks resolve. Laurens, Lafayette, and Mulligan actively tease him, with Lafayette noting, "You are the worst, Burr..." upon his appearance at Hamilton's wedding, although it's worth noting that they always try to include him and only remark disapprovingly because Burr refuses to join them in anything.
- In Act II, nobody cares for him at all - Hamilton is pissed Burr took his father-in-law's seat in the Senate and even though they all worked together to confront Hamilton about his affair, Madison and Jefferson can't stand him and openly taunt him once he loses the election to Jefferson. Jefferson even goes so far as to change the policy regarding how the Vice President is chosen (although Burr still serves as VP for the first term of Jefferson's Presidency).
- Hammy Herald:
- For Washington in "Right Hand Man," in which he announces Washington's arrival in a pro wrestling-announcer manner, interspersed with the company's excited "Here comes the general!"Burr: Ladies and gentlemen! The moment you've been waiting for! The pride of Mount Vernon! GEOOOOOORGE WASHINGTON!
- For Lafayette in "Guns and Ships," before Lafayette goes off on a very fast tangent about his military exploits.Burr: EVERYONE GIVE IT UP FOR AMERICA'S FAVORITE FIGHTIN' FRENCHMAN!
- For Washington in "Right Hand Man," in which he announces Washington's arrival in a pro wrestling-announcer manner, interspersed with the company's excited "Here comes the general!"
- Happily Married: It's clearer in the Cut Songs, but he and Theodosia I are obviously happy together. (This also lines up with history — by all accounts, he genuinely loved her.)
- HeelFace Revolving Door: Starts off as Hamilton's friend, even if they disagree on some things. Then he changes parties to run against Hamilton's father-in-law. This pisses Hamilton off, but Burr still wants to remain friends, and for the most part, they seem to be on good terms. Then Burr aligns himself with Jefferson and Madison, and helps them confront Hamilton, which leads to the Reynolds Pamphlet being published, which in itself leads to Hamilton's personal life and career being ruined. However, the two are still friendly during the Election of 1800, Burr saying that he's chasing what he wants because of what he's learned from Hamilton... and then Hamilton endorses Jefferson over him, and says Burr has no principles. Then Burr decides Hamilton's the reason he's failed, and the two exchange some polite-but-scathing letters, each accusing the other of being at fault. Then, Burr shoots him. But it's clear he wishes he hadn't and genuinely regrets it. Jeez.
- Historical Hero Upgrade:
- In regards to his relationship with Alexander Hamilton. Burr in the play is initially welcoming and supportive, if skeptical, of young Hamilton, and the two later share a somewhat inconsistent but sincere friendship. Burr and Hamilton actually met significantly later in their lives than is portrayed in the play,note and their relationship before the duel was far more neutral and professional than we see on stage. In that same situation, Burr evinced no remorse about shooting Hamiltonnote . Despite his repentant narration at the beginning of the musical and in the aftermath of the duel scene, in reality Burr never expressed personal remorse for the duel until much later in life, where he admitted in a mocking way that, "Had I read Tristram Shandy rather than Voltaire, I would think the world was not 'wide enough' for himself and Hamilton". The duel itself did not in any way tarnish Burr's reputation in and of itself, at least in America (internationally it ruined him, because Hamilton was more well known in France and England). The subsequent trial over the land-scheme in the western territory, which ended in his acquittal as it happened, but was forced through by Thomas Jefferson to more or less run him over, was far more damaging to his career.
- The play also omits Burr's pre-Hamilton-assassination Manhattan Company controversynote and his post-Hamilton-assassination Burr conspiracy.
- Historical Villain Upgrade:
- The real Aaron Burr was well-known for being friendly and generous, and nearly bankrupted himself on more than one occasion for charity purposes (often pawning his possessions to give money to others). He was an outspoken proto-feminist, a Revolutionary War hero, opposed to slavery (significantly more actively than Hamiliton did) and very much opposed to discrimination against immigrants. He also did not change parties to run against his friend's beloved family member; he joined the political scene as a Democratic-Republican in the first place, and didn't know Hamilton particularly well when he ran against General Schuyler.note In Hamilton, Burr is selfish and manipulative with no stance on slavery or on the American Revolution, who obsesses over Hamilton's immigrant status and consistently stabs his allies in the back for purely selfish reasons. Burr is also shown gloating over Hamilton's downfall in "The Reynolds Pamphlet" alongside Jefferson and Madison, even though historically he sympathized with Hamilton in that instancenote and even helped defuse a potential duel between him and James Monroe over the latter's role in exposing the scandal (which Miranda even noted while narrating a Hamilton episode in Drunk History).
- Additionally, this version of Burr is portrayed as a privileged and wealthy "trust fund baby" in order to make him more of a Privileged Rival figure to Hamilton; the real Burr did come from a wealthy family, but had a rocky relationship with them at the best of times and was eventually disowned; he graduated from university at 16 not because of his wealthy important father, but rather simply because he was a genius and had a generally good work ethic. Burr spent most of his life in the middle class, actually less wealthy and powerful than Hamilton, who came from a poor background but eventually married into the Schuyler family and was a favorite of George Washington himself.
- Real life Burr also took a lot more abuse from Hamilton before snapping and challenging him to a duel. In the show, Burr challenges him pretty much immediately after Hamilton endorses Jefferson for President and costs him the election. Burr took this fairly well in real life, largely because he still got to be Vice President for a term. It was only when Hamilton sabotaged him again in New York's governor election in 1804 and then further slandered him among his professional colleagues that he challenged himnote .
- This is also played with in that while stage!Burr is almost certainly more of a villain than real-life!Burr, his popular reputation is so bad that the musical's version is still one of his most sympathetic portrayals, making it both a Historical Villain Upgrade (relative to the complexities of actual history) and a Historical Hero Upgrade (relative to the more common perception of him.)
- "I Am" Song: "Wait For It", in which he explains his backstory and overall worldview.
- "I Want" Song: "The Room Where it Happens" is this for him, where he reveals his desire to have a high political position. (Unusually for an "I Want" Song - but appropriately enough for the indecisive, secretive Burr - "The Room Where It Happens" comes late in the show, about halfway through the second act, with Burr's motives having been obscured before that. Even more than that, the song itself isn't revealed to be an "I Want" Song until about 4 minutes into the 5 minute song!)
- Interactive Narrator: Other characters occasionally chime in, though.
- Large Ham: Burr, as a character, is rather reserved in his interactions with others, and is constantly admonishing Hamilton and his friends for their bombastic behavior. As a narrator, however, he hypes these same people up with ridiculous enthusiasm. Most notable in "Guns And Ships" when talking about Lafayette's accomplishments in the army and ends his part of the song clinging to a railing.
- Last-Name Basis: He's not once addressed by his first name, representing how he's so guarded that no one feels like they know him.
- Mr. Exposition: Comes with the territory of All-Knowing Singing Narrator; especially after timeskips where he contextualizes the current happenings.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Admits in the very first song that he regrets shooting Hamilton; after he actually does it he yells out "Wait!" as if immediately regretting doing so. In the Where Are They Now epilogue, he admits this outright.
- Not So Above It All: He starts out "The Reynolds Pamphlet" being happy but not resorting to gloating like Jefferson does, but by the end of the song he's dancing around Hamilton and going just as crazy as the rest of the ensemble.
- Not So Different: Foil to Hamilton he may be, but Burr and Hamilton still share a few things — their orphanhood and their fierce devotion to their children.
- OOC Is Serious Business: By the end of "Your Obedient Servant", he's resorted to using terse, barely-worded sentences that are Punctuated! For! Emphasis!.
- Orphan's Ordeal: Not as prominent as Hamilton's, but it's another trait the two men share - Burr grew up in wealth and privilege, but he constantly feels the crushing pressure to live up to his parents' legacy, and his greatest fear is that his daughter will grow up without a father like he did.
- Papa Wolf: He'd do anything for his daughter, Theodosia.
- Parental Abandonment: His mother and father both died when he was young. He completed school in record time because it was their dying wish.
- Parental Love Song: Shares "Dear Theodosia" with Hamilton, in which they sing to their young children about how they'll make America a better place for them.
- Passive-Aggressive Kombat: Eager to avoid outright confrontation, Burr disambles and strikes indirectly as his preferred method of taking people down.
- Phrase Catcher: "Aaron Burr, sir". It even happens when he introduces himself.
- Pyrrhic Villainy: Yes, Burr survives his Duel to the Death, but his reputation is forever ruined with Hamilton's blood on his hands, as well as the soul-crushing guilt of killing a man he once considered his friend.When Alexander aimed at the sky, he may have been the first one to die, but I'm the one who paid for it.
I survived, but I paid for it...
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The pragmatic and slow to anger blue oni to Hamilton's hotheaded, fast-talking, confrontational red oni.
- Remarried to the Mistress: Inverted. He began courting his wife Theodosia when she was still married. After her husband died, she married Burr.
- The Resenter: Increasingly so over the second act over Hamilton's political prowess. Interestingly, the only time he directly competes with Hamilton for a position, he shows relatively little ill-will when he is passed over. It's only after his failed bid for president that he gets murderous.
- Rival Turned Evil: Despite butting heads politically several times, Hamilton and Burr remained relatively amiable until Burr found out that Hamilton endorsed his opponent, Jefferson, in "The Election of 1800". At this point, Burr becomes Hamilton's enemy.
- Sanity Slippage Song: He becomes increasingly frantic throughout "The World Was Wide Enough", in which he shoots Hamilton.
- Villain Protagonist: Burr winds up becoming the Big Bad, but he's also only behind Hamilton in terms of prominence and it's ultimately his story as well.
Elizabeth "Eliza" Schuyler Hamilton
Middle daughter of wealthy General Philip Schuyler, Eliza is sweeter and more passive than her older sister Angelica but falls for Hamilton just as easily. Eliza goes through a lot as Hamilton's wife, but is still fiercely loyal and self-possessed, eventually ending the story as keeper of her husband's legacy.
- Adaptation Name Change: Eliza. The real Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton generally went by her full name or "Betsey". The nickname "Eliza" did exist, but the show turns it into the default means of addressing her.
- Arc Words:
- "Helpless," her adoration for Hamilton. But it eventually comes to mean helpless to keep him with her, and helpless when he reveals he had an affair by writing a public pamphlet.
- Another would be "Narrative", as Eliza wants desperately to be a part of Hamilton's life story. However, after word of his affair with Ms. Reynolds is out, she angrily erases herself from it, before finally putting herself back in the narrative and keeping Hamilton's memory alive.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Eliza's a sweetheart, but holy shit she is scary when she's mad. Want proof? Listen to (or watch) "Burn."
- Big "NO!": In "Stay Alive (Reprise)" upon seeing Philip dying.
- Break the Cutie: Eliza gets this hard by "The Reynolds Pamphlet," after her husband cheats on her. Then it gets worse.
- Character Development: Eliza becomes more mature and grounded, as well as more assertive and proactive over the course of the show. Compare her line, "Let me be a part of a narrative" in "That Would Be Enough" to her line in "Burn", "I'm erasing myself from the narrative", and to her line in the finale, "I put myself back in the narrative."
- Character Title: She's still Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton, after all. Likely the reason the show is titled Hamilton instead of Alexander Hamilton, because Elizabeth is just as important as Alexander is.
- Come Back to Bed, Honey: The more-or-less chaste variant — in "Best Of Wives And Best Of Women", Elizabeth gently tries to persuade Hamilton to give his writing a rest and come back to their bed. But Hamilton has a meeting at dawn to prepare for, so she goes back to bed alone.
- Determined Widow: It's revealed in "Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story?" that after Hamilton's death, Eliza spent the rest of her life keeping his memory alive and performing good deeds in his name: interviewing his brothers-in-arms from the war, organizing and studying his writings, raising funds for the Washington Monument, speaking out against slavery, and establishing the first private orphanage in New York City. One could write a play about her life just as easily as her husband's.
- The Hecate Sisters: She is the loving and loyal Mother to Angelica's Crone and Peggy's Maiden.
- Heroic Self-Deprecation: In "Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Our Story", despite spending fifty years doing wonderful things, from speaking out against slavery to opening New York City's first private orphanage, she laments that Alexander could have done much more than her and wonders if she's done enough.
- The Ingenue: Starts off as this; she's wealthy, lovestruck, and naive. This changes after Hamilton slights her and she loses her eldest son.
- Innocent Soprano: Eliza is a soprano to emphasize her sweetness, femininity, and naivete regarding Alexander. Her sisters and her husband's mistress all sing in the mezzo range for contrast.
- Innocently Insensitive: She doesn't notice Angelica's strong feelings for Hamilton, which makes the latter miserable.
- Love at First Sight: Starts making heart eyes at Hamilton almost as soon as she sees him.
- Marry for Love: Eliza, as the second daughter of a wealthy statesman, is free to marry the penniless Alexander. (By contrast, Angelica, as the oldest daughter, is supposed to marry well, resulting in a Marriage of Convenience to a man she finds rather dull).
- My Girl Back Home: She's this to Hamilton while the latter is away fighting in the revolution. He's openly shocked when she reveals she's pregnant, and Eliza and their unborn child become major motivators for him.
- Nice Girl: In the words of Angelica, "You will never find anyone as trusting or as kind." She's no pushover, as we see in "Burn", but in general she is very sweet, loyal, and loving. This is probably why she never raps in the play; its aggressive nature just isn't characteristic of her. (A characterization that runs counter to history, since the real Eliza's contemporaries described her as aggressive and impulsive.)
- Outliving One's Offspring: She outlives Phillip.
- Parental Substitute: After Hamilton dies, Eliza starts an orphanage, taking care of hundreds of children who like Hamilton started out with nothing.
- Proper Lady: Eliza is a wife, a mother, very domestic, and very intelligent and sweet — the ideal for upper-class women at the time.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The sweet and demure blue oni to Angelica's outspoken and opinionated red oni. This is even reflected by their costumes: Eliza's dress is pale blue, while Angelica's dress is pink (i.e. shade of red).
- Silk Hiding Steel: A beautiful, kind, soft-spoken woman who is delicate and ladylike, but not a pushover and able to hold her own against the louder, more demanding characters in the show? Eliza fits the trope almost word-for-word.
- True Blue Femininity: She frequently wears blue gowns to emphasize her gentle personality and genteel upbringing.
- Uptown Girl: Eliza comes from a wealthy family while Alexander is an orphan who had to work his way up.
- What the Hell, Hero?: "Burn" is essentially a whole song of Eliza doing this to Hamilton, though he's not actually there.
- X Meets Y: The show's casting calls describe her style as Alicia Keys meets Elphaba.
Angelica Schuyler Church
The eldest daughter of Philip Schuyler, fierce, charming Angelica wants nothing more than an intelligent man with whom she can match wits, and is thus easily attracted to Hamilton. But she loves her family more than anything else, and sets him up with Eliza instead.
- Arc Words: "Satisfied" — at first, it refers to her and Alexander's shared restlessness and attraction, but she later throws it in his face when she learns about the Reynolds pamphlet.
- Big Sister Instinct: Do not hurt Eliza if you know what's good for you.
- Commuting on a Bus: Leaves for England at the end of Act 1, but returns to the US several times during Act II
- The Confidant: To Hamilton, who often vents out his feelings in their personal correspondence. (This was historically true, as well).
- Cool Big Sis: The outgoing and vivacious older sister to the more passive Eliza and Peggy.
- "I love my sister more than anything in this life" as she says on many occasions, and sings for Eliza during "It's Quiet Uptown"
- Dude Magnet: She's gorgeous, intelligent, witty note , kind, and wealthy, to boot — so naturally, Angelica has no issue attracting guys wherever she goes.
- The Dutiful Son: In "Satisfied", she acknowledges that as the eldest daughter in a family with no sons she has to marry well for the sake of the family, regardless of her personal feelings. It's one of the reasons she gives up her courtship with Alexander. Since Eliza is younger, there's not as much pressure on her to marry someone wealthy and well-connected.note
- A Family Affair: Alluded to with her unrequited feelings for Hamilton, in reference to the theory Hamilton may have had an affair with his sister-in-law in real life.
- Friend Versus Lover: Averted. While she's briefly torn between loyalty for her best friend and little sister, Eliza, and her love for Hamilton, it doesn't take her long to choose Eliza, willing to do anything to make her happy.
- Has a Type: She wants "a mind at work", a man who can engage with her intellectually. The first thing that draws her to Alexander is the intelligence in his eyes. Sadly, she ends up having to marry for money, not brains.
- Happily Married: While she's in love with Hamiliton, she is perfectly content with the man who becomes her husband. The only flaw she can see in her husband is that he's not as smart and witty as Hamiliton.
- The Hecate Sisters: Angelica is the smart, sharp-tongued, and wise Crone to Eliza's Mother and Peggy's Maiden.
- Historical Hero Upgrade: To a minor degree, but the real Angelica Schuyler Church was no egalitarian, and actually owned a lot of household slaves (what's worse, many of her slave transactions were handled by none other than Alexander Hamilton himself).
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Angelica has an interesting variation on this; it's Eliza's happiness she's more concerned with, not Hamilton's.I love my sister more than anything in this life,I will choose her happiness over mine, every time!
- "I Want" Song: Her segment in "The Schuyler Sisters" details what she's looking for in a man and how she's excited for the intellectual revolution that will come with the uprising.
- Marriage of Convenience: She resigns herself to marrying a wealthy but boring man instead of her beloved Alexander, though her husband at least seems to treat her well.
- Motor Mouth: Her fast-paced rap in "Satisfied", which has a rhythm similar to Nicki Minaj's "Super Bass."
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The opinionated and passionate red oni to Eliza's quiet and demure blue oni.
- Spirited Young Lady: She's definitely a lady, but she's also very intelligent, opinionated, and able to hold her own against Hamilton. In contrast, her little sister Eliza is more of a Proper Lady.
- Stepford Smiler: During Alexander and Eliza's wedding, because she's in love with Alexander too but wants her sister to be happy.
- Thicker Than Water: Angelica prioritizes her sister Eliza above all else, even above her own feelings for Hamilton.
- What the Hell, Hero?: She really lays into Hamilton after the Reynolds pamphlet. Her Cut Song "Congratulations" is a full-on "The Reason You Suck" Speech, two minutes and fifteen seconds of her calling him a complete moron not just for outing the affair himself, but for hurting Eliza so terribly and that he'd better make sure any future "sacrifice" he makes is on her behalf.
- X Meets Y: The show's casting calls describe her style as Nicki Minaj meets Desiree Armfeldt.
Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolution and eventual first President of the United States, Washington is a man admired even by King George for his authoritativeness and leadership. Becomes something of a father figure to Hamilton, as well as his primary political supporter.
- Arc Words: "History has its eyes on you."
- As the Good Book Says...: Quotes Micah 4:4, "everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid"note to back up his argument for stepping away from power.
- Big Good: He's he general of the Continental Army in Act I and the President in Act II and is overall the most well meaning, level-headed, and capable person in the play.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: He turns and directs the lines "history has its eyes on you, you, you!" to the audience in "One Last Time."
- But Now I Must Go: He retires from politics after "One Last Time," believing that it will be the best way for the country to move forward and live up to the ideals of electing their own leaders.
- Cincinnatus: He retires after two terms as President and returns to Mount Vernon, even though he still had widespread popular support — a shocking move both in real life and in the play. As King George puts it, "I wasn't aware that was something a person could do."
- Disappointed in You: Although he has no specific lines, he does take the stage in "The Reynolds Pamphlet" and is clearly disgusted with Alexander's actions (be it the original adultery or the decision to expose his wife and family to public scorn).
- A Father to His Men: Beloved by his young soldiers as a caring and fatherly general. Only Hamilton seems to take issue with the idea.
- Four-Star Badass: A general at the beginning of the musical, and a hands-on badass.
- Historical Hero Upgrade: Big time, as is to be expected of him in an American recounting of the Revolution. His ambition and desire for self-advancement are all but erased, as is his owning of slaves. While he did his best to act humble in real life, the actual George Washington used that as a careful facade to mask the extent of his political ambitions. In addition, he could be extremely haughty and arrogant in personal interaction- a far cry from the polite Humble Hero he's depicted as being in the play.
- Humble Hero: Washington is acutely aware of his flaws but always tries to do what's best for the nation. In "Right Hand Man" he's uncomfortable with his Memetic Badass reputation because he knows he doesn't live up to the hype. Later, in "One Last Time", he includes in his farewell address an apology to the country for all the mistakes he made as president.
- Killed Offscreen: Washington's last song ends with him talking about going to his vineyard, a biblical metaphor for Heaven, as Hamilton tearfully says goodbye to him. Sure enough, the next time he's mentioned Washington is thought to already be on "the other side", presumably having died on December 14, 1799 due to quinsy (a throat infection) as he did in real life. It wouldn't be the first time he's ascended to the heavens.
- Leitmotif: "Here comes the Gen-a-RAL!"
- Only Sane Man: He seems to be the only character that can keep his head screwed on right at all times. As such, he's easily frustrated by petty infighting.
- OOC Is Serious Business: Musically speaking. Most of his lines are traditional singing to fit his dignified image. But when he's frustrated and angry (eg with his shambles of an army in "Right Hand Man") he falls into rapping.
- Parental Substitute: Washington treats Hamilton like a sonnote , which Hamilton finds patronizing at first. Jefferson later uses this to taunt Hamilton, belittling him as a boy clinging to his father's coattails. When Hamilton glimpses "the other side" during his fatal duel, he sees his son, his mother, and George Washington, implying that Washington is effectively his father.
- Passing the Torch: When he steps down as president, he hands power over to John Adams — much to everyone's surprise.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: George Washington is a very benevolent leader.
- Supporting Leader: Of the American army, and later the fledgling United States.
- Worthy Opponent: In "I Know Him", King George is surprised that Washington is stepping down, and seems to lament that it will be impossible to replace him, as there's on one else in the country who looms so large.
- X Meets Y: The show's casting calls describe his style as John Legend meets Mufasa.
King of Britain at the time of the Revolution, George has pretty pointed opinions of the Revolution and its aftermath.
- Air Quotes: He uses very exaggerated ones in the live version of "I Know Him."King George: There's nobody else in their "country" that looms quite as large...
- Arc Words: Not as prominent as others but he says, "Oceans rise, Empires fall" in all three songs when referencing the difficulties with running a country.
- Aside Glance: He grins at the audience when he finds out John Adams will be the next president. The messenger who informs him does this, too, before the king rudely shoos him offstage so he can sing alone.King George: That poor man, they're going to eat him alive!
- Back for the Finale: He stops appearing after "The Reynolds Pamphlet" when the show focuses on Hamilton's family life and his final years, but George's actor returns as a chorus member for the closing number "Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story."
- Big Bad: of Act I due to being the tyrant Hamilton and the others are fighting against, and unlike Burr he isn't portrayed sympathetically at all.
- Break the Haughty: Losing the war takes a toll on him as seen in his attitude in "What Comes Next?"
- Camp Straight: He behaves like a scorned lover and dresses in the most glamorous costume.
- Disc-One Final Boss: He is the Greater-Scope Villain of the first act, which takes place during the American Revolution, but he is defeated and demoted to a Greek chorus late in said first act.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Seems genuinely confused when he hears that George Washington is stepping down from politics and allowing others to assume the presidency. He seems not only perplexed that America really intends to continuously change rulers, but stunned that anyone would walk away from such a position of power willingly, summing up that he "wasn't aware that was something a person could do." note
- Evil Laugh: Gets a wonderfully over-the-top (and rather ridiculous) laugh at the end of "I Know Him." This could be a reference to his infamous descent into insanity late in life.King George: President John Adams? ...Good luck!
- Historical In-Joke: "When you're gone/I'll go mad!" Well... popular history has it that George III certainly did wind up going mad around 1800.
- Historical Villain Upgrade: As is typical for depictions of him in American made Revolutionary War media, he's depicted as a greedy, self-indulgent tyrant whose oppression of the American colonies is entirely to blame for the conflict. In reality, he had very little to do with the relentless taxation that drove them to revolt- that was mostly Parliament's fault.
- It Will Never Catch On: All of King George's songs are essentially him stating this about what's happening overseas. It starts with the belief that the Revolution will crumble at the hands of the British navy, then that the newly freed Americans will utterly fail at self-governance, and then that the presidency will fall apart without Washington as a figurehead. He's proven consistently wrong, but his skepticism serves to help remind the audience (who might otherwise be biased due to hindsight) that each of these was a genuine concern and had a good chance of going wrong.
- Jerkass Has a Point: King George is right to predict that America is going to have a lot of difficulty trying to adjust to leadership on its own. The struggles with running their own country are not pleasant, and these hardships are the entire plot of the second act.King George: It's much harder when it's all your call.
- Large Ham: He stands out because he's the only character to have big Broadway showstopper numbers structured like Britpop (as opposed to the rap and R&B songs comprising most of the play). Additionally, he sings all his songs alone (except for when he asks the company to sing with him), further isolating him and emphasizing how hammy he is. He's also never shown coming to America except for when he's seen briefly passing by Hamilton and throwing copies of the Reynolds Pamphlet everywhere, which still doesn't affect the plot.
- Minor Character, Major Song: Three major songs. King George has nothing to do, plot-wise, but he gets some show-stopping numbers.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Jonathan Groff does a great job keeping up the English accent for the most part. However, during "You'll Be Back" on the Broadway soundtrack album, you can hear his natural American accent somewhat plainly on the line "You'll be the one complaining when I am gone."
- Pass the Popcorn: He eagerly looks forward to watching the chaos that's sure to ensue following America getting a new president, and even pulls up a chair on the side of the stage so he can get a good view.
- Plot-Irrelevant Villain: Zig-Zagged. While the King of Britain makes a good Greater-Scope Villain when a portion of the play is set during the American Revolution, he is more of a spectator and a Greek Chorus than an actual player. Once the revolution ended, he becomes nothing but a spectator to the newly emancipated colonies under the assumption that it would collapse without Britain's control. Really, you could have cut him out of the play and nothing would have changed, not that King George III was an irrelevant player historically speaking...
- Plucky Comic Relief: From his mostly simplistic rhymes, to his flashy royal clothing, to his borderline childish lyrics, to his immaturely degrading and insulting America, to the overall tacky nature of his numbers, just about everything King George says and does is played for laughs in an otherwise serious piece about the rise and fall of a Founding Father.
- Psychopathic Manchild: He shows unbridled enthusiasm and glee at the thought of America descending into chaos and violence once Washington steps down, as if he were a kid getting ready to watch his favorite sporting event.
- Requisite Royal Regalia: Crown and ermine cape.
- Shoo Out the Clowns: His last appearance is "The Reynolds Pamphlet" where he has no lines but is one of the political figures dancing and taunting Hamilton for blowing his chance at becoming president. The rest of the musical takes a more decidedly somber tone, covering Phillip's death and the events leading up to the duel with Burr and Alexander's own death, making a King George appearance inappropriate in tone.
- Something Completely Different: In a musical stuffed with fast-paced rap and R&B songs, Jonathan Groff belts out British Invasion-style top 40s pop songs.
- Stealth Pun: King George's numbers mimic the music of the British Invasion because a British invasion of the Colonies is exactly what the king wants.
- Sympathy for the Hero:
- Not that John Adams is portrayed as a hero by any stretch, but George does seem to have a bit of (admittedly backhanded) sympathy towards Adams when George hears that Adams will replace Washington as president.King George: I know him / That can't be!
That's that... little guy who spoke to me
All those years ago / What was it? '85?
That poor man, they're going to eat him alive!
- King George also very genuinely respects and admires George Washington.
- Not that John Adams is portrayed as a hero by any stretch, but George does seem to have a bit of (admittedly backhanded) sympathy towards Adams when George hears that Adams will replace Washington as president.
- Token White: Enforced. The casting specifically calls for nonwhite actors to play all the other principals and a specifically Caucasian actor to play King George. While the rest of the soundtrack is a fusion of hip-hop, R&B, and soul, King George's numbers are more Britpop, sort of like if Simon Cowell were managing The Beatles. This reinforces the idea that the Colonies and the old country have grown too far apart.
- Villain Love Song: "You'll Be Back" is him declaring his love on an international scale by declaring his intention to murder (see Yandere, below, for details).
- Villain Respect: For George Washington. When Washington announces that he won't seek a third term and plans to retire from politics, the King seems genuinely saddened and says he doesn't think anyone will be able to fill his boots.
- Won the War, Lost the Peace: Seems to think this will happen to the United States after they win the Revolutionary War. He's wrong, of course.
- X Meets Y: The show's casting calls describe his style as Rufus Wainwright meets King Herod.
- Yandere: Seems to view the colonies as deluded lovers who will eventually return to him.George: When you're gone / I'll go mad
So don't throw away this thing we had
'Cause when push comes to shove
I will kill your friends and family
To remind you of my love.
Main characters (first act only)
A soldier and statesman from a wealthy family who serves as one of Washington's aides-de-camp. Hamilton's best friend.
The role of Laurens is double-cast with Philip, Alexander and Eliza's eldest son.
- Ambiguously Gay: A growing number of historians believe that Hamilton and Laurens had a romantic or sexual relationship, a possibility alluded to by Ron Chernow in the biography on which the show was based. Laurens' close relationship with Hamilton here is particularly emphasized in the lyrics and staging.note
- The Atoner: Although it's not mentioned in the play, Laurens is a committed abolitionist because his family made their fortune off the slave trade, and he didn't want that to be part of his legacy.
- Birth/Death Juxtaposition: Just after Hamilton finishes a wistful song about his son Philip's birth, Hamilton (as well as Lafayette and Mulligan) receives news that Laurens was killed in a post-war skirmish.
- Best Friend: Of Hamilton's True Companions, Laurens was the friend he was closest to (though he might have been more than just a friend).
- Deadpan Snarker: The "I'm satisfied," after having shot Lee during their duel reeks of this.
- The Heart: The most optimistic and upbeat (if not somewhat brash) of Hamilton and his friends in Act I. His death is seen as positively tragic and devastates not only Hamilton, but Lafayette and Mulligan as well.
- Honor Before Reason: Really, this could apply to all of the duels that takes place over the course of the musical (as well as many duels in history that carried out this way), but Laurens' duel with Lee is notable because despite the knowledge that they had just lot a sizeable chunk of their forces, Laurens and Hamilton still choose to engage Lee in a duel and risk another loss to the army after the latter insults Washington.
- Hot-Blooded: Laurens and Lee fight the first of the three duels in the show.
- Killed Offscreen: Hamilton is given a letter reporting his death at the end of Act I. (In Act II, his actor goes on to play Philip Hamilton.)
- Nice Guy: He's a generally friendly dude, if a bit impulsive, and quickly forms a tender, deep friendship with Hamilton.
- Shoo Out the Clowns: He, Lafayette, and Mulligan, who are responsible for many lighthearted moments in the show, are all gone by the end of Act I, right before Hamilton's life snowballs into a shitshow. As noted above, Laurens was killed in combat during a post-war skirmish. Outside of the context of the story, his actor goes on to play Philip Hamilton in Act II.
- Tenor Boy: Young, idealistic, and one of the two tenors in a cast of baritenors.
- Tragic Bromance: Laurens is Hamilton's closest friend, and his death signals a shift in tone for the second act and prompts Hamilton to work even harder to avoid confronting the loss.
- Values Resonance: Laurens, in-universe and in real life, was a committed abolitionist.
- X Meets Y: The show's casting calls describe his style as Nas meets Elder Price.
Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de La Fayette
A French nobleman living in America who is instrumental in obtaining French aid for the rebels, turning the tide of the war in their favor. One of Hamilton's closest friends before he returns to France.
The role of Lafayette is double-cast with Thomas Jefferson.
- The Ace: He brings in French support and is a brilliant tactician in his own right, saves the Battle of Monmouth from being a total disaster, and runs circles around the British. No wonder Burr calls him "America's favorite fighting Frenchman." He also compares himself to Lancelot, who was also The Ace.
- Ascended Extra: Lafayette actually doesn't show up that much in Chernow's biography; in fact, he has a far greater presence in the author's later biography of George Washington.
- Badass Boast: "Who's the best? C'est moi!" He also details his numerous exploits in "Guns and Ships".
- Badass in Distress: Historically, Lafayette would be imprisoned in France for siding with the people during France's political turnovers, in part due to Hamilton advocating not to assist a country without a leader. Hamilton notes, "Lafayette's a smart man, he'll be fine," and Lafayette did survive, but that's about all that could be said for him after what he endured.
- Big Damn Heroes: Suddenly showing up with the French fleet, turning the tide of the war.
- Gratuitous French: His lines in "Aaron Burr (Sir)" and "My Shot," including one with the stereotypical "How you say?"Lafayette: Oui oui, mon ami, je m'appelle Lafayette! note
- Motor Mouth: The verse he spits out in "Guns and Ships" is faster than Angelica's verse in "Satisfied", and "Guns and Ships" as a whole is one of the fastest Broadway songs on record. (Note that his actor raps that fast while adopting a French accent and jumping around onstage.)
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Lafayette is ONLY referred to as Lafayette throughout the musical, but this isn't even his name, it's a title. The use of his nickname is perfectly justified though, since most everyone, including the French, refers to him as Lafayette, and his real namenote is rather long.
- Poirot Speak: Though he speaks English well, he seems to enjoy switching to French to artistically emphasize a point.
- Put on a Bus: Lafayette returns to France after America wins the revolution, and remained fairly prominent in history afterwards. This is so his actor can play Thomas Jefferson. note
- Shoo Out the Clowns: He, Laurens, and Mulligan, who are responsible for many lighthearted moments in the show, are all gone by the end of Act I, right before Hamilton's life snowballs into a shitshow. Historically, Lafayette returned to France. Outside of the context of the story, his actor goes on to play Thomas Jefferson in Act II.
- The Smart Guy: Fits this role within Hamilton's friends, and boy, the play never lets us forget it.
- During Guns and Ships:Lafayette: [about Hamilton] No one has more resilience or matches my practical tactical brilliance!
- During Cabinet Battle #2:Hamilton: Lafayette's a smart man, he'll be fine!
- During Guns and Ships:
- X Meets Y: The show's casting calls describe his style as Ludacris meets Lancelot.
Another of Hamilton's close friends (and a fellow immigrant), Mulligan is a gifted tailor and spirited conversationalist who charms intelligence out of British officers and feeds it to the rebels.
The role of Mulligan is double-cast with James Madison.
- Awesome Mc Coolname: It doesnt get more awesome than having your first name be Hercules!
- Badass Boast: Hercules Mulligan's entire verse in "Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down)"."We're in the shit now and somebody's gotta shovel it
Hercules Mulligan, I need no introduction
When you knock me down, I get the FUCK BACK UP AGAIN!"
- The Big Guy: He's the toughest, most rugged member of the group.
- Boisterous Bruiser: An excellent fighter who's very loud, extroverted, and fun to be around.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Mulligan drops out of the story during "Stay Alive," just as the war is getting off the ground, with a brief reference to going back to his apprenticeship as a tailor. While Lafayette, Hamilton, and Washington throw their efforts into the war, Mulligan isn't mentioned again until "Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down)," which reveals that he's been their spy on the inside the whole time.
- Composite Character: Sort of. Hercules Mulligan definitely existed (and was a badass), but he was never on Washington's staff. Mulligan is sort of a composite of other aides who were close friends of Hamilton (Richard Kidder Meade, Tench Tilghman, Robert Hanson Harrison, James McHenry, etc.)
- Fighting Irish: An immigrant like Hamilton and Lafayette.
- Hero of Another Story: While Hamilton, Laurens, Lafayette and Washington are busy in the field, Mulligan is hard at work as a spy in New York; while it isn't mentioned in the show, he also worked with the Culper Ring, Washington's spy network.
- Historical Hero Upgrade: Hercules Mulligan was a spy, but so was his slave Cato, who was Adapted Out of the musical since it would be awkward to have John Laurens sing about abolition when one of his drinking buddies happens to own a slave (which also applies to Hamilton, whose slave trade activities have no mention in the play). Also ironic is that the spy who was actually responsible for giving Washington the information necessary to win at Yorktown and thus end the war was not Mulligan but another slave named James Armistead. Doubly ironic is that Armistead later added "Lafayette" to his name because of the Frenchman's tireless efforts to secure his freedom after the war, while in the play Lafayette's abolitionism remains implied at best.
- Lovable Sex Maniac: He boasts about his sex life in "Aaron Burr, Sir" and is definitely one of the most fun characters in the show.
- Parental Substitute: Mulligan says that he stands in loco parentis for Hamilton, Laurens, and Lafayette. Laurens, at least, is nonplussed by this, if his reaction on the soundtrack is any indication.
- Put on a Bus: He's not present in the second act, like the other Act I double-cast characters, so his actor can play Madison. Also, in "Stay Alive", he heads back to New York to continue his apprenticeship, which just makes his return during "Yorktown" all the more awesome.
- Real Men Wear Pink: He's the flower guy at Hamilton and Eliza's wedding.
- The Mole: He works as a spy smuggling British intelligence to the Continental army, which becomes instrumental in the American victory at Yorktown.
- Shoo Out the Clowns: He, Laurens, and Lafayette, who are responsible for many lighthearted moments in the show, are all gone by the end of Act I, right before Hamilton's life snowballs into a shitshow. Historically, Mulligan humbly settled after the war and his tailoring business prospered. Outside of the context of the story, his actor goes on to play James Madison in Act II.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: Has the foulest mouth out of any of the Act I characters.
- Team Dad: Is quite a bit older than the rest of the Revolutionary Set, and says he has them "in loco parentis".
- X Meets Y: The show's casting calls describe his style as Busta Rhymes meets Donald O'Connor.
Margarita "Peggy" Schuyler
The youngest of the Schuyler sisters shown on stage. The role of Peggy is double-cast with Maria Reynolds.
- The Baby of the Bunch: She's the youngest of her sisters and is portrayed as an innocent, cheerful maiden. When she tries to stop Angelica and Eliza from disobeying their father, Eliza merely says she can go home by herself if she wants to, and Peggy decides to go along with them.
- The Cutie: She's one of the most light-hearted characters in the play. Even more so than Eliza, who undergoes Break the Cutie-induced character development in Act II.
- Daddy's Girl: Implied. Of the three sisters, Peggy's the most concerned with doing what their father told them to do, and openly expresses dismay that he wants to go to war, probably fearing he'll get hurt.
- Expy: The only principal character not to receive an X Meets Y description in the casting calls, instead being directly referred to as the Michelle Williams of the Schuyler sisters' Destiny's Child.
- The Hecate Sisters: Peggy is the naive Maiden to Angelica's Crone and Eliza's Mother.
- My Friends... and Zoidberg: Being the least historically relevant of the three Schuyler sisters, she often forces her way into the conversation:Angelica: "Angelica!"
Peggy: "...and Peggy!"
- Only Sane Woman: During "The Schuyler Sisters", Angelica and Eliza are excited about the upcoming revolution since it is inspiring new ideas and more concerned about "looking for a mind at work". Meanwhile, Peggy is the only one who is noting that the American Revolution will bring ''bring violence on our shore" and that their father may potentially be killed in the conflict by going to war.
- Out of Focus: Unlike her sisters, Peggy doesn't get a significant character arc and doesn't even appear in the second act (which has some historical basis - the real Peggy died three years prior to Hamilton).
- Put on a Bus: Like the rest of the double-cast Act I characters, Peggy disappears from the narrative in the second act. She isn't even mentioned in the finale (with good historical reasons - the finale takes place in 1804 and after, 3 years after the historical Peggy's death in 1801.)
- Shoo Out the Clowns: Primarily used to round out the Schuyler sisters, Peggy disappears by Act II right before Hamilton's life snowballs into a shitshow. Historically, Peggy died a couple of years before Hamilton in the same year as her nephew Philip. Outside of the context of the story, her actor goes on to play Maria Reynolds in Act II.
Main characters (second act only)
The eldest son of Alexander and Eliza Hamilton, named after his grandfather Philip Schuyler.
The role of Philip was double-cast with John Laurens.
- Bullying a Dragon: Challenges a much older man to a duel despite having no experience dueling himself.
- The Charmer: He flirts with two women in "Blow Us All Away" and they're both quite taken with him. Truth in Television as Robert Troup, a friend of the Hamilton family, privately called Philip a "rake" - a person prone to immoral behavior, especially womanizing.
- Died in Your Arms Tonight: His mother and father hold him as he succumbs to his bullet wound.
- Duel to the Death: Although Phillip follows his father's advice to shoot at the sky so as not to become a killer, Eacker has no such compunctions and mortally wounds him - before they even counted to ten. note
- Historical Hero Upgrade: His duel with Eacker went a lot differently in real life. In the show, Phillip fires into the sky when Eacker cheats and shoots him before the countdown is over. In real life, neither of them initially fired even after they turned around, but when Phillip slowly began to raise his gun, Eacker decided to fire first in preemptive self-defense.
- Hot-Blooded: Philip lets his emotions get the best of him and impulsively challenges Eacker to a duel without a thought to the consequences.
- Like Father, Like Son:
- He's as passionate and clever as his old man. On a darker note, father and son even die the same way — shot during a duel while aiming at the sky.
- You also dont have to look far to guess where he got his flirtation skills from.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: He's more casual about foul language than the other characters, rivaled only by Hercules Mulligan.
- Teens Are Short: Generally played by a shorter adult man (Anthony Ramos is 5'9", and subsequent actors have been around that height), and as a "child" is dressed in short pants and deliberately-overlong sleeves to appear even shorter.
- Tenor Boy: One of the few tenors in the play and the one who plays the "young, idealistic hero" trope straight. Even when Philip is 19, Anthony Ramos in the soundtrack still portrays him with a higher, more boyish voice than he did with Laurens in the first act, who was the same age but battle-hardened from the war.
- X Meets Y: The show's casting calls describe his style as Tupac Shakur meets J. Pierrepont Finch.
Another Founding Father, who returns from France at the beginning of Act II. Laid-back but brilliant, Jefferson opposes Hamilton's political views and forms the Democratic-Republican party to counter Hamilton's Federal party. He eventually gets elected second Vice President and third President of the United States after Hamilton supports him in the 1800 elections.
The role of Jefferson is double-cast with Lafayette.
- Actually Pretty Funny: Possibly. His smirks during Hamilton's verses in the first Cabinet Battle can either be interpreted as him finding some of his cracks at him funny in spite of himself... or relishing in how he's going to mop the floor with Hamilton later. Or both.
- Adaptational Personality Change: The real-life Jefferson was a very introverted, awkward, eccentric, and withdrawn man. By modern understanding, hed likely be somewhere on the autism spectrum. However, the musical portrays him as charming, boisterous, and gregarious.
- Agent Peacock: Jefferson is fabulous, from his constant self-aggrandisement to his overblown purple velvet outfit complete with pimp cane. He's also an incredibly savvy political operator, and everyone throughout the play recognises that he's a valuable friend to have - or a dangerous enemy to make.
- Antagonist in Mourning: After Hamilton's death, he mourns his passing and admits that the bank he created was too well-made to be destroyed (not for lack of trying on his part).
- Big "WHAT?!": Jefferson manages to combine this with Flat "What". A fan managed to assemble all of Jefferson's 'what's here.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: After multiple consecutive songs about Hamilton's tragic and complicated personal life, Jefferson interjects, "Can we get back to politics?" to begin a number about the election of 1800.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: He brags about writing the "wise words" in the Declaration of Independence... then dismisses Hamilton's debt plan as being too long and hard to understand.note He claims responsibility for getting everyone together to negotiate it in "The Room Where It Happens", but admits he basically went along with it because he wanted to reduce his travel time to the capital. (Although he might not have been being fully serious about that.)
- Chekhov's Gunman: He's mentioned once by Angelica in The Schuyler Sisters, and appears in the second act.
- The Dandy: Just take a look at that fabulous purple costume (complete with a pimp cane!)
- Deadpan Snarker: He always has a snide comment ready for Hamilton.
- Enemy Mine: Late in Act 2, Hamilton decides to support him for president over the wishy-washy Burr.
- Everyone Has Standards:
- Jefferson is hypocritical, arrogant, certainly an antagonistic figure in the musical, and even takes a few pointed potshots at Hamilton's background... but even he seems shocked by Adams' racist taunts in "The Adams Administration". He also briefly expresses sympathy towards Hamilton after his son dies. note
- He also seems genuinely shocked when Hamilton reveals his role in the Reynolds affair, reacting only with a disgusted "...My God" when Hamilton confesses fully.
- Foreign Culture Fetish: Accusations of being a Francophile hurt his campaign for president in 1800. It took Hamilton's endorsement for him to gain the public's approval.
- The Heavy: While Burr is still the main antagonist of the show Jefferson is the one that most consistently opposes Hamilton in Act 2 due to his position in the Cabinet.
- Historical Villain Upgrade: While few would be faulted for considering the real Jefferson a hypocrite for preaching liberty while owning human beings as property, he was no worse than any other American slaveowner of the era, and arguably a good deal better than most. He genuinely wanted to free his slaves, but was prevented from doing so by various legal and financial complications. Furthermore, as president, he abolished the slave trade, before even the celebrated British ban on itnote . Likewise, no mention is made of his support for the rights of the poor and for religious freedom, both positions Hamilton opposed.
- Jefferson constantly espouses his ideals of freedom and equality...while being an unapologetic slave owner. Hamilton calls him out on it in "Cabinet Battle #1", as does the choreography of the musical itself (e.g. members of the chorus are contextualized as Monticello slaves scrubbing floors and doing back-breaking work, while Jefferson belts out lines like "I can't believe that we are free" while being rolled across the stage on a wooden staircase by his 'property', etc). Also, it's a bit rich of him to accuse Hamilton of dressing flashily, when he's the one prancing on stage in a magenta velvet suit at the beginning of Act II.
- He also criticizes Hamilton for overstepping his bounds in his opposition to joining France in their (most recent) revolution in "Cabinet Battle #2" with the line, "I remind you that he is not Secretary of State!" when three of the last five songs have dealt with Jefferson's opposition to Hamilton's plans to form a National Bank; i.e., the domain of the Secretary of the Treasury.
- In the two Cabinet songs, Jefferson cloaks his debates in idealism, first claiming that the federal government shouldn't be given excessive power or it would endanger personal freedom (in regard to a national bank being formed), and second that the new country must do its best to champion the ideals of liberty (in regard to providing aid to post-revolutionary France). The Mixtape's third song, discussing a proposal to end slavery, has him do a 180, claiming the Federal Government should use its power to regulate the slave trade by banning the importation of more slaves, while continuously using technicalities and bad-faith arguments to attempt to shut down the discussion.
- Jefferson seems to take great delight in mocking Hamilton for having an affair with another woman, especially when doing so ruins his rival's political career. The musical has a quick nod to (and in the Mixtape outright states) the fact that Jefferson had an affair himself. With one of his personal slaves.
- Hypocritical Humor: More of a Truth in Television example: During "The Election of 1800," Jefferson muses that Aaron Burr, while a strong politician, "is not terribly forthcoming on any particular stances." In real life, one of the most frequent accusations levied against Jefferson was his tendency to openly display a sort of political apathy while in actuality hiding a ruthlessly pragmatic political agenda...just like Aaron Burr in Hamilton.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Hypocrite as he is on the issue of slavery, it's not difficult to empathize with his points about assisting France in war even though Hamilton has reason to believe in preserving neutrality. Alexander's more subdued tone when he refutes Jefferson's point about Lafayette indicates Hamilton understands why Jefferson would think this way.
- Kick Them While They Are Down: His lyrics in "The Reynolds Pamphlet," have him reading the contents of the document aloud, which detail a massive scandal. Publishing this document permanently derails Hamilton's career and wrecks havoc on his personal life, including his marriage, yet Jefferson's tone is smug and mocking as he's been rid of one of his biggest political rivals."Well, he's never gon' be President now, Never gon' be president now...."
- Lesser of Two Evils: Hamilton considers him to be this to Burr. While he has never once agreed with him on any position, at least Jefferson has ideals while Burr has none.
- Motor Mouth: Maybe not to the extent of Daveed Diggs' other character, Lafayette, but Jefferson still has a very fast-paced flow at the end of "Washington On Your Side", with rather tongue-twisting lines, too.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: He notably fails at all of his goals in the play, until "We Know" and "The Reynolds Pamphlet" where his actions discredit Hamilton. He also directly benefits from the disconnect between Hamilton and Burr to the point of securing the presidency.
- Not So Similar: On the surface, Hamilton and Jefferson have a lot in common; both are brilliant writers, both founded the guiding principles of the American government, both stand by their beliefs, both have rather large egos that frequently need to be stroked, and both have prominent positions in Washington's cabinet (Treasury and State, respectively). The difference is that Jefferson is a smug old-money Southerner for the Democratic-Republicans who employs slave labor, and Hamilton is a Northern Federalist who married into wealth and abhors slavery. Really, the second act can be viewed as Hamilton taking on his shadow self.
- Old Money: From a fairly wealthy family who owned a plantation. This is part of why he looks down on Hamilton.
- Pet the Dog:
- Is openly shocked at Adams's racist taunts towards Hamilton in "The Adams Administration."
- Expresses genuine sympathy when Hamilton's son dies. Of course, historically, many of Jefferson's children did not survive to adulthood.
- In the finale he grudgingly gives Hamilton credit for his help in creating America, admitting that his financial system was a work of genius.
- At the end of "We Know," once he's been assured that Hamilton isn't breaking the law by appropriating Federal funds, he agrees to keep his extramarital affair a secret. While he still takes great pleasure in Hamilton blowing the whistle on himself in "The Reynolds Pamphlet," he still never attempted to tell anyone himself even though he knew it would destroy Hamilton's career. note
- When James Madison starts hacking and coughing during the first Cabinet Battle, Jefferson walks over to him and touches his shoulder, looking like he's about to ask if he's alright before Hamilton interrupts.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The fast-talking, loud, boisterous red to Madison's rational, quiet, understated blue.
- Smug Snake: Sarcastic, antagonistic, and basically oozes disdain - especially during "The Reynolds Pamphlet".
- Something Completely Different: His songs are inspired by Southern jazz, ragtime, and boogie-woogie styles to reflect that Jefferson was older than Hamilton and many of the other characters. As he puts it, he "probably missed the late Eighties", being in France at the time, which is mirrored by his songs lacking precisely that decade's developments (except his Rap Battles with Hamilton in the cabinet battles.)
- Sympathy for the Hero: He's clearly genuinely sympathetic towards Hamilton after Philip's death.
- Those Two Guys: He and Madison are always seen together throughout the play, with the exception of his introductory number "What'd I Miss?", where Jefferson enters first and is joined by Madison later.
- Villainy-Free Villain: Jefferson isn't portrayed as evil, as is proved by his stance about helping France against the various monarchies trying to reinstate the French Monarchy by force. He only opposes Hamilton in the play because he reasonably believes that his policy ideas are better for the country. However, he is a hypocritical Jerkass who owns slaves.
- Worthy Opponent: He and Hamilton consider each other this despite despising each other, this is what gets him Hamilton's endorsement.
- X Meets Y: The show's casting calls describe his style as Drake meets Harold Hill.
A former ally of Hamilton's who ends up siding with Jefferson and company. Will go on to be the fourth president of the United States.
The role of Madison is double-cast with Hercules Mulligan.
- Anti-Villain: Compared to Jefferson, Madison is a fairly reasonable guy. He is the first person to let up on Hamilton when he realizes that Hamilton did not break the law. In real life, there is no evidence James Madison was involved in the Reynolds Affair or that Madison ever blackmailed or slandered anybody.
- Character Tic: A subtle one. Whenever Madison is about to propose a plan or things go his way due to his smart planing he tends to tap his head twice with his finger, a fitting gesture for an intelligent, rational and practical man such as he. In a subtle but rather touching moment at the end, when speaking about Hamilton's legacy during "Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your story." he instead taps his heart which shows how much genuine respect he had for Alexander in the end.
- Composite Character: With both historical Madison and James Monroe. In real life, Monroe instigated the investigation into Hamilton and James Reynolds (with Jefferson working behind the scenes) while Madison was not involved. Monroe was a Jefferson cheerleader, whereas the actual Madison was Jefferson's best friend and ally, but also very much Jefferson's equal and not his Number Two.
- FaceHeel Turn: In Act I, he helps Hamilton write the Federalist Papers, but in Act II he teams up with Jefferson to oppose Hamilton. He was a driving force for the Constitution, but he believes that Hamilton's financial plan will hurt the South.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Jefferson, as in real life.
- Hidden Depths: The quiet guy with the cough wrote the Bill of Rights? AND 29 of the Federalist Papers? Including "Federalist 10?" Also his tears at "It's Quiet Uptown" hint at his more sensitive side. He's also the one who masterminds Jefferson's election to the presidency and had the idea that saved his campaign.
- Compared to the flamboyant Jefferson and the overly verbose Hamilton, he's the only character in Act Two who spares us the Purple Prose and actually does something when a problem comes up. He suggests investigating Hamilton's finances under suspicion of embezzlement, proposes the Potomac for the capital when Congress is too busy sniping with each other, and suggests Hamilton endorse Jefferson to put the latter over the cap during the Election of 1800.
- In the cut "Cabinet Battle #3", he's also the only one to propose a plan to deal with the spread of the slave trade (for now), when Hamilton, Jefferson, and even Washington were at a loss at how to deal with the issue.
- Hypochondria: The line "Madison take your medicine" references this historical trait of Madison's, who was rather small and sickly. Additionally, in the original Broadway production, Okieriete Onaodowan would walk around the stage holding a handkerchief and periodically coughing into it while playing Madison, further indicating the man's constantly poor health.
- Irony: James Madison was both the shortest and lightest President of the United States at 5' 4'' and 122 pounds. Okieriete Onaodowan, the actor who originated the role on Broadway, is a 5'11", muscular former football player. Subsequent productions go in a similar direction, as an actor who fits Madison's description would hardly be able to pull off the role of Hercules Mulligan, whom Madison's actor must double as.
- Number Two: Becomes Jefferson's right-hand man.
- Pet the Dog:
- He comes back onstage wiping his eyes for "The Election of 1800", apparently as heartbroken as the audience over the tragedy of the previous two songs.
- In the finale he grudgingly gives Hamilton credit for his help in creating America.
- The Quiet One: He doesn't speak much on his own, instead choosing to back up Jefferson. Historically, Madison was exceedingly shy and rather uncomfortable with public speaking.
- Sympathy for the Hero: Madison expresses genuine sadness and sympathy after Hamilton's son dies, and even comes onstage weeping after "It's Quiet Uptown."
- Those Two Guys: He and Jefferson are always seen together throughout the play, with the exception of his introductory number "What'd I Miss?", where Jefferson enters first and is joined by Madison later.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The rational, quiet, understated blue to Jefferson's fast-talking, loud, boisterous red. In a meta example, he's also one to the brash, cheery Hercules Mulligan, with whom he is double cast.
- Villainous Friendship: He has one with Jefferson.
- We Used to Be Friends: With Hamilton. An annotation from Miranda in the book of the musical states that "the falling out between Madison and Hamilton is relegated to the intermission." The original draft of "Washington on Your Side" features of a verse from Madison about how he once liked Hamilton before coming to regard him as ambitious and dangerous.
- X Meets Y: The show's casting calls describe his style as RZA meets Zach.
Maria Reynolds comes to Hamilton in a time of personal crisis, eventually beginning an affair with him. Her husband James uses this affair as blackmail, extorting money out of Hamilton to keep him quiet. When Hamilton's political rivals begin sniffing around his spending, Hamilton is forced to reveal the details of his affair with Maria in order to clear his name — making his family miserable in the process.
The role of Maria is double-cast with Peggy, the youngest Schuyler sister.
- Big "YES!": Lets out several that get bigger each time at the end of "Say No to This."
- Contralto of Danger: Enforced. The actress playing the youngest Schuyler sister, Peggy, is double-cast as the seductress Maria Reynolds. Peggy's notes are on the higher end of the mezzo range, reflecting her youth and good-girl nature, in contrast to Maria's low, sultry come-ons.
- Damsel in Distress: Reynolds is presented as a battered wife who was abandoned by her husband and can no longer make ends meet on her own.
- Domestic Abuse: James Reynolds is described as one, and Hamilton's sympathy for Maria is the gateway to their affair. As it turns out, James Reynolds is forcing Maria to act as bait for blackmail. He doesn't care whether Hamilton has sex with her, even calling her a whore, as long as Hamilton pays up.
- Et Tu, Brute?: She's understandably disgusted with Hamilton when he decides to expose their affair to the world in a misguided attempt to save his own reputation. Somewhat Truth in Television too, as the Reynolds Pamphlet essentially destroyed the real Maria Reynolds' reputation beyond repair.
- Honey Trap: James Reynolds forced Maria to act as a bait for blackmail.
- Hypocrite: Among other things, she tells Hamilton she needs help because her husband is "cheating and mistreating" her... then immediately seduces Hamilton into doing the exact same thing to his own wife, Eliza. Though depending on the performance, it's implied that she isn't doing this by choice.
- Historical Villain Upgrade: A complicated or debatable example. It's implied that her story of domestic violence may have simply been a ploy to trick Hamilton, and her daughter Susan is never mentioned—and neither is the fact that the real Maria Reynolds was much younger than Hamilton and was very poor and barely literate, and altogether that she was at a massive disadvantage. She had to choose between seducing a man who had already been known to use his power and influence to ruin lives, and allowing her heavily abusive husband to "punish" both her and her daughter. note
- Lady in Red: Maria appears as a seductress at least initially, and she does it in a very nice red dress.
- Minor Character, Major Song: "Say No To This" is her only appearance in the play but her impact is huge, considering she's at the center of a vicious blackmail plot and the first-ever sex scandal in American politics.
- The Mistress: Hamilton maintains a steady relationship with her while being married to Eliza.
- Please Don't Leave Me: She begs this of Hamilton word for word when he tries to end their relationship due to her husband's blackmail.
- Small Role, Big Impact: She only has a few minutes of screentime, but her role in the plot destroys Hamilton's political career and nearly takes his marriage along with it.
- The Vamp: Her low, seductive voice suggests how much of a sultry young woman she is. Despite this, she is later described in the song 'Say No To This' as "Half dressed, apologetic. A mess, she looked pathetic," as well as numerously being illustrated as looking 'helpless'.
- X Meets Y: The show's casting calls describe her style as Jazmine Sullivan meets Carla.
A bishop who advocates for America to remain a British colony. His work is harshly criticized by Hamilton.
- Broken Record: Instead of changing what he says in response to Hamilton he just repeats himself something Hamilton complains about on his third time around.
- The Quisling: He's on the side of the British and denounces the rebels.
- Villainous Breakdown: He becomes noticeably distraught during the third verse of his song due to Hamilton's criticism.
An incompetent general who is responsible for the near-destruction of the Revolutionary Army at the Battle of Monmouth.
- Dirty Coward: Washington harshly (and rightfully) chews him out for trying to retreat as soon as the battle started getting intense.
- Evil Is Petty: After losing his position he started talking badly about Washington around camp, despite the fact that Washington had every reason to strip him of command.
- General Failure: He nearly propelled the Americans into a devastating defeat at Monmouth. The Continental Army only made it out still intact thanks to Lafayette's superior leadership and prowess, but even then it was only a stalemate rather than a victory.
- Historical Downgrade: The real Lee was actually an experienced veteran officer who had fought for England, Portugal and Poland, seeing action in the Seven Years' War, the Spanish Invasion of Portugal and the Russo-Turkish War. There's some speculation as to why Washington got the position of commander in chief over Lee, but some theories are that Lee was deemed unfit to represent the revolution (Washington was a handsome gentleman, Lee reportedly had poor hygiene and bad manners), that Lee was British and Washington was colonial, or that Lee demanded pay, as he had forfeit his British citizenship and properties, where Washington volunteered. Possibly all three. Lee did indeed slander Washington and was insubordinate for the remainder of his time in the war, but that had more to do with a personal grudge than his actual ability.
- Not What I Signed on For: Lee is ecstatic to be a general, but instantly cowers and retreats the moment he gets on the battlefield.
Husband of Maria Reynolds. He blackmails Hamilton for money in exchange for not telling anyone about Hamilton's infidelity.
- Blackmail: He extorts Hamilton for money after Hamilton had an affair with his wife Maria.
- Domestic Abuse: Maria tells Hamilton that he's an awful, violent, and uncaring husband. Given the way he talks about her in his letter and the likelihood that he forced her to be bait in a blackmail scheme, she clearly wasn't exaggerating.
- Karma Houdini: He never suffers any comeuppance for blackmailing Hamilton or for his mistreatment of his wife, though his offstage arrest for defrauding veterans' pensions (the event that actually kickstarted the investigation leading to the Reynolds Pamphlet) goes unmentioned.
- Laughably Evil: Despite being an alleged abusive husband who openly blackmailed Hamilton, all his appearances and lines are funny to hear and watch.
A lawyer who insults Alexander Hamilton and is challenged to a duel by Alexander's son Philip over it.
- Dirty Coward: He fired his shot at the count of seven, rather than ten, and killed Philip.
- Hate Sink: Eacker stands out as one of the few genuinely malicious characters in the show, even for his rather limited stage time.
- Historical Villain Upgrade: While he was a critic of Alexander (going as far as to claim Hamilton wanted the monarchy back), according to witnesses of his and Phillip's duel, in their historical duel not only did Phillip hesitate to shoot, Eacker did too, and the duel only started when neither one was willing to back down. The only reason why Eacker shot at all is because Phillip started to slowly raise his gun, leading to Eacker shooting first in self-defense.
- Jerkass: He's shown to be rude, condescending, and dishonorable.
- Jerkass Has a Point: He isn't wrong about Alexander being a scoundrel, and he calls out Phillip for interrupting the play he was watching.
- Karma Houdini: In the play, he's never punished for killing his opponent by cheating. His own death of tuberculosis at age 30 isn't present in the play.
- Small Role, Big Impact: Only appears in one scene, and is played by a member of the ensemble, but sets the tone for the rest of the play, leading to the show's darkest moments.
The hapless second President of the United States. His attacks on Hamilton severely damage the Treasury Secretary's already-precarious reputation.
- Butt-Monkey: He's frequently a target of Hamilton's mockery. Even Jefferson, one of the few characters who actually likes him, admits that Adams is hopeless and has no chance of being re-elected, and so does everyone during "The Election of 1800"
- The Ghost: Despite being mentioned often, he never physically appears in the musical. (This is because John Adams already has his own show, and Miranda knew that many people, himself included, would automatically picture that version of Adams.)
- Kick the Dog: His racist taunts about Hamilton. Even Jefferson was appalled.
- Vice President Who?: During Washington's administration Hamilton states, "John Adams doesn't have a real job anyway."
Aaron Burr's mistress and later, wife. Already married to a British officer, but the mother to his daughter of the same name.
- Demoted to Extra: She was quite the women's activist and devoted to Burr in life, but gets no stage time here.
- The Ghost: Referenced a bit in the play, and even gets a shout-out in "Wait For It", but is never seen onstage.
- Happily Married: So in love with Burr that she married him after her marriage to her first husband was over. From what the play shows, he did not regret this.
Founding Federalist and co-author of the Federalist papers, alongside Alexander Hamilton and James Madison.
Father of the Schuyler sisters.
- Demoted to Extra: Besides coming from one of New York's richest families, Schuyler was a general in the Continental Army until relieved of command for losing Fort Ticonderoga during the Saratoga Campaign (he was later cleared of responsibility). He was heavily involved in New York politics, attended the Constitutional Convention, and led government negotiations with the Iroquois. He also became very close to Hamilton after the latter's marriage to Eliza, and the two were also active political allies. While Schuyler lost reelection to the Senate to Burr, he was later reelected in 1797, unmentioned in the play. Since Schuyler is The Ghost, the play mentions little of his background.
- The Ghost: Like John Adams, he is frequently referenced but has no lines or actions in the play, only appearing briefly in the background of "Helpless".
- War Hawk: Peggy mentions that he's eager to go to war with the British.