Current Characters: none!
Character: Alexander Hamilton
Canon: Hamilton (musical)
Canon Point: End of the musical
Background: the main wiki page , the original cast recording on youtube, and The in-depth genius annotations
Before we talk about Hamilton as who he is, we need to talk about the Hamilton that isn't, namely the historical divergences in his character. First of all, Hamilton is partially extrapolation and creative license built on a lot of history, but mostly one major source. Ron Chernow's biography glosses over some of the historical Hamiltons' negative traits. Lin Manuel Mirandas' version builds on that work, and also tweaked some events and downplayed some aspects for dramatic tension and storytelling. That being said... Hamilton in the musical is still a deeply flawed individual, just that people expecting him to be exactly like an old textbook or biography are going to raise an eyebrow at times. Even before the rapping starts.
That leaves the question of what Hamilton is, and the answer is deceptively simple: he's the living embodiment of "has no chill". Below that however is a sharp mind, a drive to leave a legacy and build a better country, confidence to burn, and sadly... an ultimately self-sabotaging inability to rein himself in.
Hamilton didn't have an easy start, with his father leaving at age ten, his mothers' death a few years later, his older caretaking cousins' suicide shortly after that, and even further after that a hurricane... from the earliest days Hamilton grew up in the face of loss and hunger on so many levels. All this tragedy instilled in him the belief that life could be horribly short, so there was no time to waste. So what do you do when a hurricane ravages your town? Write about it, and write about it so well that the people on the island pay your way for a decent education on the mainland, and that's what Hamilton did. Along with all the damage caused to him in his childhood, he learned to do what it took to try and make a difference in the time he had, be resourceful, and think on his feet.
It'd be difficult to overstate his skill with the written and spoken word. In history this came across as his exhaustively long papers, however in a musical that isn't really possible, so instead this concept is conveyed in word structure and musical themes. Hamilton sings and raps his lines quickly, and his musical motifs and themes affect the musical themes of others. On top of that whenever the lyrics use his name, he says it with his motif. He literally sings to his own tune. And while what he says comes off with a quick, modern New York accent, his word choice is either complex, or holds multiple meanings.
...And sometimes he just talks and acts like this scrappy guy with a massive ego.
"Now what I’m gonna to say may sound indelicate…"
But when you grow up constantly fighting to survive, it's hard to shake that instinct later on, and Hamilton never really does. He charges through everything like a storm, either getting people on his side, or running roughshod through all their plans. Part of this is that he almost always thinks he's got the right idea, or that he's the smartest damn person in the room, or that if they would let him just get another word in that he could sway people to his point of view. This is the man that went to a convention as junior delegate, and ended up talking about creating a new system of government. The response from the group perfectly sums up the effect he has on people:
"Bright young man…" "Yo, who the eff is this?"
In his mind he has to be this direct though, otherwise he might let opportunities slip by, and he believes that he only has one shot to get things right. Bruised feelings and a few fights? Nah, he's got this, eventually they'll figure out he was right all along. If they haven't? Well then clearly he hasn't tried hard enough yet and he needs to dump a few more essays on them. Like... Fifty-one, fifty-one seems about right.
On top of that there is the issue of wanting a legacy, and what he does to try and accomplish it. Make no mistake, he doesn't go in for long, drawn out schemes, and he's not fond of compromise. He'd rather use hard work and action to get things done, but sometimes he puts those goals first, and others suffer for it. Being so focused might seem like a wonderful thing -and for the most part it is- but it doesn't just mean late nights or writing tomes of work in six months, it also means not spending time with loved ones and even once having to choose the stability of the country over a promise to an old ally overseas. This isn't to say that he doesn't hope and dream for a better, stronger nation, but he also wants it to be a nation that remembers him and his achievements.
Hamilton is a dangerous mix in a lot of ways. His quick tongue and way with words does raise him up to the top of his career, but his impulsiveness and lack of restraint also destroys it entirely, and tears apart relationships with people he cares about. Worst part is? He knows this. Part of this is because he's been told time and time again when he crosses a line, but that doesn't really stop him. Oh sure he regrets it later, but it's almost painfully easy to rile him up into a storm of paragraphs and screeds about someone's personal failings, insults, and zigzagging over any line of propriety he can manage. Sometimes this comes off as complex " Thomas Jefferson, always hesitant with the President Reticent—there isn’t a plan he doesn’t jettison. Madison, you’re mad as a hatter, son, take your medicine. Damn, you’re in worse shape than the national debt is in", to a simple, effective "Siddown john, you fat motherf-". Either way it can ruin people, but it also lashes back onto him, taking apart his reputation chunk by jagged chunk. He'll fight anyone in word or in deed, be it old rivals, fresh new enemies, former friends, and inadvertently, himself.
This lack of impulse control also manifests in being pretty damn weak to temptation, namely with affairs. In his early days he was known for sleeping around, and even after he was married, it's indicated that there was something going on with John Laurens, on top of flirting in correspondence with Angelica. Past that there's the actual affair he had with another woman later on. Repeatedly. Even after he knew he was being blackmailed for it. In short, on multiple levels he's just a boy who can't say no.
Abilities: Physically, he's about as normal as you can get. No magical abilities, no superpowers, just a sharp mind, knowledge of French, pain tolerance, and a marksmans' aim. He does also have the innate ability to somehow talk and write for hours without stopping, but that's less anything special, and more an intensive training regimen of being incredibly stubborn and not caring about his well-being.
Alignment: While all this anger would make him seem like a perfect fit for half of Sosyne, I'm going with Peromei.
By the end this has all taken a massive toll on him and as much as he's done, he's lost even more. These tragedies all pile up, and with the incidents from his childhood he certainly fits Peromei's aspect of despair. However beside that, he never does stop hoping for a better future of the country, or for the people in his life.
Other: Hamilton went through a few versions off Broadway and on, and some material was cut in the transfer. In places where it doesn't conflict with the Broadway version, I use those as headcanon. If that's not cool I'm fine not including it!
Sample: link to tdm and emotional sample below:
There was so much work to be done.
Mind you, there was always work to be done, but this was more than usual. First there was refilling the inkwell, then there was drawing up the editorial in response to how his last paper had been received. After that was sending out the correspondence from this morning... and hoping that his bird didn't just up and abandon him after the twentieth or so letter. Then there was going over that one article by one of the townsfolk who felt that some Otherworlders were being too bold, and demanding changes from a society that they'd never have been a part of. Yeah he had to pick that one apart and explain as many words as necessary about how Otherworlders were a boon to this overgrown treecity, and where some natives could stick their opinions-
That was about when the poor old inkpot gave up its' ghost and cracked into a few pieces. Yes cleanup, there was also a lot of cleanup to do.
In fact the office was quite a sight. Papers were everywhere, ink stained the floor, and in places the walls looked like they had survived a small storm, with shreds of wallpaper torn in horizontal strips. A small branch outside his now-broken window even looked like it'd been sheared off, probably having fallen into the street below. Well it was blocking his view anyway. It wasn't normally this bad, but one of his detractors came calling and well, he had a feeling that the buildings' owner would evict him soon.
And if they didn't it was probably in his best interests to find a place with a spare room... and was built a bit more sturdily.