10H: 5/3/16

Today we’re going to look at the opening song from the Broadway hit Hamilton.

The goal of today’s lesson is to serve as an early introduction to the structure of Othello.

In short, we are examining the function of a prologue. ¬†While Othello does not have a prologue, many of Shakespeare’s plays do. ¬†Romeo & Juliet, in particular, has a famous prologue that you might remember.

First, we are going to watch Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first public performance of “Alexander Hamilton” from his 2009 performance at the White House.

Click here to watch the performance.

Then, we will closely analyze the images presented in this opening number.

Click here for the lyrics to the song.

Finally, using the lyrics above, respond to the following tasks:

  1. In your own words, what does the question in the opening stanza ask?
  2. Explain the allusion to the “ten-dollar founding father” which opens the second stanza.
  3. Identify one example of rhyme in the song. How does the rhyme contribute to the meaning in the song? Consider how the rhyme potentially links two things, how the rhyme serves as a point of emphasis, and/or how the rhyme foreshadows something to come.
  4. Pick one line that intrigues you. Why is the line intriguing, and what is the speaker’s tone in the line? How does the tone contribute to the meaning? Be specific.
  5. What’s your favorite part of the song & why? You must provide a specific personal response.