Writing

Emily Drouillard

Category: essay

The Musical Narrative of Alexander Hamilton

 

The Broadway musical Hamilton is an unprecedented happening in the worlds of both history and musicals. It is a self-aware narrative that actively seeks to dispel the inaccurate portrayal of Alexander Hamilton in the past, which leads to deeper investigation of historical narrative. The musical’s account is unique in that it is being told through the format of a musical. This itself has a great deal of small reasons behind it that make it a very unique and prime for a case study of historical narrative. It is based upon Ron Chernow’s critically acclaimed 2004 biography of Alexander Hamilton that was written with the purpose of crafting a ‘more accurate’ narrative that, unlike the alternatives, is not inhibited by the negativity and lack of recognition from many of his peers. This gives the musical a large set of ‘data’ from which to craft its own narrative.

Hamilton, which began previews in New York in the spring of 2015, was already generating a considerable amount of buzz both in publications and through word of mouth. It has gone on to become an unprecedented success that is currently sold out for every show in the next six months and makes around $1.7 million a week[1]. Lin-Manuel Miranda, the writer, composer, and star, posts often to his Twitter account photographs of himself and the endless flow of celebrities that go to experience the show. It has catapulted the commonly overlooked face of the ten dollar bill from ‘Man Many People Think Was President Because Why Else Would He Be On Our Money? Wait, Franklin Wasn’t One Either?’ to ‘Trendiest Historical Figure of 2016.’ Read the rest of this entry »

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Researched Proof That Waiting for Godot is Funny: Proving My Mother Wrong

Samuel Beckett’s play Waiting for Godot is one that the mother of the author of this essay detested. She saw the 2009 Broadway production starring the famed actors Nathan Lane and John Goodman. Her remarks to her daughter condemned it for being boring, hard to follow, and ‘kind of weird. ’ How could two actors of such comedic esteem work on a production so unfulfilling? Upon reading it in her college Cultural Foundations III class, the author was astounded to realize that the play was not only enjoyable, but also hilarious. She struggled to understand how one play could be seen so differently until she watched one of her favorite humorous videos online and realized it paralleled a scene from Beckett’s play. It all became clear. Waiting for Godot is not humorous in a conventional or typically commercial way. It is a comedy built on irony, absurdist humor, and repetition. The play is classified as a tragicomedy, and fully lives up to its comedic title. Despite having heavy topics, Beckett uses humor to make even situations that would not seem the least bit funny into something that can be laughed at.

Riddled with inappropriate jokes, much repetition, and nonsensical dialogue, the play is still relevant today and the witticisms still poignant and funny because – like the first act of this play – jokes are recycled. The humor in Waiting for Godot is slightly absurd and not typical humor, but the play is comedic beyond its time. Despite being written over 60 years ago, it uses types of humor that are heavily influential today. While the Bard may be known for dubbing the play as the thing in Hamlet, it would not be unbelievable if Beckett declared the joke as the thing in Godot. For the purposes of brevity and not turning a sophomore year college paper into a debate over what humor is and what even makes something funny, things that are deemed to be ‘funny’ or are described as such with other words that also mean funny are things that are seen as funny by the author. If the reader finds none of the subsequent evidence for the comedic prowess to be humorous, then the reader is invited to view the entire paper as a form of irony. If that is unsatisfactory, then
the author apologizes that the reader must go through a life so devoid of light.

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Freud’s Super-Ego and Nolan’s The Dark Knight

Sigmund Freud, the famed Austrian considered to be the father of psychoanalysis, has certainly left his mark on the world of psychology through a variety of different theories, studies, and new forms of treatment. Freud was born in 1856 and died in 1939, just four months after the character of Batman was first introduced, in Detective Comics #27, published by DC Comics. Freud had most likely never heard of Batman, but the caped crusader’s escapades and adventures can actually lead us to a deeper understanding of the concepts and ideas about the mechanisms and mannerisms of the human mind and psyche the Freud introduced to the world. More specifically, the ways in which the film The Dark Knight help us to understand Freud’s concepts of the super-ego, ego, and id will be explored. The dramatically different central characters of the film provide actualization and representation of the three codependent concepts and their various influences and effects.

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Ethical Veganism: An Evaluation Through Societal Moral Expectations

The purpose of this paper is to argue that the consumption of animals and their by-products is unethical. The morality (to be used in the same sense as the word ethics in this argument) of these practices will be examined in the contexts of their effects on the animals involved as well as on the environment. Consuming animals and animal by-products in a first world country in 2015 condones and promoters the torture and abuse of beings capable of feeling distress and pain. The products are also the result of a system that has had the single largest human-made impact on the planet (Robbins 58) yet is consistently overlooked by the public, especially the American public, in terms of contributors to and causes of environmental crises. Ethical veganism is the consumption of a vegan diet – one devoid and any animals or animal by-products – for primarily moral purposes. This definition is not standardized and often is expanded to other parts of life outside of sustenance. The current focus will be solely on diet.

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Les Citoyennes: The Dichotomy of Women in The French Revolution

The French Revolution began in 1789 with the storming of the Bastille on July 14. Three months later, women of Paris marched on the palace of Versailles and began a revolution of their own. It marked the beginning of modern feminism, which would last long after Napoléon’s coup ended the revolution in 1799. The significance of the contributions and advancements of women in the French Revolution, most notably the March on Versailles, is juxtaposed by their struggle to rid their status as secondary citizens in the face of evolving legislation. Their involvements mark both a birth of modern feminism and a reaffirmation of the need for said feminism.

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Tim Burton’s Gothic Corpse Bride

Tim Burton, an eccentric looking American with wayward hair and mismatched wardrobe, is renowned for the gothic influence found in nearly all of his art, especially his movies. His 2005 stop-motion animated film Corpse Bride embodies Gothicism so very well that aspects of it seem to be tongue-in-cheek odes to the style. Through his use of visuals including setting and color scheme, as well as the inclusion of archetypal characters and heavy Romanticism, Burton has turned an old story into an incontrovertibly Gothic film. Read the rest of this entry »