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One-On-One: The Duelist's Rhetoric In Hamilton

Who says what to whom? An analysis of the tete a tetes in Hamilton: An American Musical between Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, and Thomas Jefferson

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  1. Who does Hamilton describe as "My first friend, my enemy"?
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Aaron Burr
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Thomas Jefferson
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Rhetoric of the duel

    Aaron Burr is the one who shoots Hamilton dead, his first friend in the political game, and his enemy to the end

  2. Burr says: "I'm chasing what I want." When?
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Before the duel
    Correct
    Incorrect
    After the duel
    Correct
    Incorrect
    The election of 1800
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Friends and rivals but what do they fall for?

    Aaron Burr seems to (finally) have found something to fight for. The election of 1800 is where all of his butting heads with Hamilton comes to a... head. The rhetoric is friendly - for now.

  3. Hamilton's "We need bold strokes": against whom?
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Burr
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Jefferson
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Cabinet smackdown interrupted by a walk-off

    When Washington pulls Hams aside, this is what the argument is really about: being friendly or being decisive - and we all know what side Hamilton is on.

  4. "He knows nothing of loyalty": Who says it about whom?
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Jefferson about Hamilton
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Hamilton about Jefferson
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Burr about Hamilton
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Hamilton about Burr
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Jefferson fires back, though his gun is in France, just like this loyalty

    In Cabinet Meeting #1, Hamilton accuses Jefferson of being unable to relate because he didn't fight in the Revolution (fair), but here, in Cabinet Meeting #2, Jefferson retorts with Hamilton's lack of loyalty to France and the stance of not taking a stand with France against oppression.

  5. When does Hamilton say "America, you great unfinished symphony"?
    Correct
    Incorrect
    During a cabinet meeting
    Correct
    Incorrect
    A conversation with Washington
    Correct
    Incorrect
    During the duel
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    The light of hope at the end of an era

    Hamilton's words take a decidedly optimistic turn during this aside during The World Was Wide Enough; that's how we know it's the end because he needs to look back and know he did, if not enough, at least the best he could.

  6. Who tells Hamilton "You're nothing without Washington behind you?"
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Burr
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Jefferson
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Jefferson ain't afraid to play dirty

    The scraps and low blows that Jefferson and Hamilton exchange in these cabinet meetings are beneath most intelligent people - you'd think. But it really shows that rivalry in a dog-fighting kind of way, where they share almost nothing but a drive to make something great out of America (though "great" means something different from every perspective).

  7. When does Burr say: "Congrats on a race well run. I did give you a fight"?
    Correct
    Incorrect
    When he loses the presidency to Jefferson
    Correct
    Incorrect
    When he shoots Hamilton dead
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Burr is all grace all the time

    It's Hamilton and Jefferson who get into scraps, but Burr stands above and aloof and, seemingly, unaffected. But Hamilton, man, he's willing to call them all out, just before exclaiming that even though he's never agreed with anything Jefferson has fought for, at least Jefferson's "got beliefs"

  8. Who does Hamilton say "I will not equivocate on my opinion. I have always worn it on my sleeve" to and when?
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Jefferson; during a cabinet meeting
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Burr; after the call to a duel
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Hamilton mimics speech patterns and eloquence

    Though his quick wit follows him everywhere, the level of his language and the presence of insults change from person to person. Jefferson is a dog, a Virginian, a slave-owner, but Burr, despite it all, is still a friend. And Hamilton treats him like that, even as they spurn each other. (Note, the call to duel is also still eloquent, if angry, and all the rhetoric surrounding the duel has a semblance of eloquence that any "conversation" between Hamilton and Jefferson lacked.)

  9. Who says "History obliterates in every picture it paints?"
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Washington
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Jefferson
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    A tragic end with a beautiful backdrop

    Aaron Burr sings a lament as Hamilton is carried off - about history and how it all ends, about who gets to spend their legacy in history texts and who gets rewritten, discarded, and left with the rest of those whose names are lost. It lacks Hamilton's end-of-show positivity, it lacks Washington's inspirational show of civility, and it's most definitely not Jefferson's dig-in-the-dirt spitfire rapidity. Only Burr has that level of longevity and brevity. (Yes, the rhymes are purposeful.)

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