Maria As A Femme Fatale Essay

Decent Essays
A stark contrast to the two goddesses, Eliza and Angelica, takes form in Maria Reynolds. “Maria isn’t much more than an archetypal femme fatale—sort of a sultry Rihanna type” (Schulman) perfectly illustrates the reducing of female characters into one-dimensional characters. Most of the show’s audience see Maria as a femme fatale who seeks to hustle Hamilton with the help of her husband James Reynolds. Only briefly can one glimpse into Maria’s life to see that much more pertains to her life than the one dimension Miranda grants her during the song “Say No To This”: “I didn’t know any better/ Please don’t leave me with him I am helpless” provides enough leeway into Maria’s personal life to show the situation she finds herself in. Her words at…show more content…
In “Burn”, Eliza experiences a character arc within the three vignettes of the song. Eliza sings this song completely along; the first song in which a character receives a complete solo from start to finish, with minimal orchestration, an important thing to note since it symbolically provides a clear canvas for Eliza’s thoughts. In the first verse, Eliza still clings to her smitten, helpless love with Alexander. In the second verse, she grows increasingly exasperated with Alexander and the self-exposal of his affair. She falls into a helpless, pitiful tone of despair and agony. In her final vignette, Eliza sheds her helpless skin and becomes a stronger, independent woman who single-handedly alters the course of history by burning her letters. Throughout this song, however, not once does Eliza blame Maria. She pins all the blame exactly on the person at fault; her husband Alexander. When Eliza sings, “You published the letters she wrote you/ You told the whole world how you brought/ This girl into our bed” (Hamilton) in her soliloquy. Eliza remains fully capable of referring to Maria in several, less democratic ways, from “whore”, as James Reynolds does, to a fully developed and conscious woman, as Alexander does. Instead, she chooses to see Maria for what she truly is; a helpless girl who suffers at the mercy of her
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