Demonizing Rent’s Benny vs. Lionizing Hamilton’s Alexander

Demonizing Rent’s Benny vs. Lionizing Hamilton’s Alexander via @geekdads

On Twitter

My comment on the article:

Great analysis! I recently picked up the Rent soundtrack again after letting it sit for a while and found that my perspective has changed over the years.

I was thinking about Benny vs. Aaron Burr the other day: Benny’s the designated villain because he’s on the other side of the conflict from the rest of the main cast. Personal flaws aside, he’s not evil, he just has different priorities. But the show clearly presents him as the bad guy.

Hamilton literally has Aaron Burr *call himself* the villain, but the show does so much to humanize him that it’s hard to read him that way. (At least as far as the cast album goes.) Antagonist, yes. Opponent, absolutely. But he’s presented much more sympathetically than Benny, even though he actually kills the hero.