What Eliza's Gasp At The End Of Hamilton Really Means

Thanks to a recording of the Broadway production of Hamilton landing on Disney Plus, many fans are now dissecting the hit musical. One thing that has a lot of people buzzing is the gasp Eliza Schuyler makes at the end of the production and what it could possibly mean.


For those of you who don't remember the ending of Hamilton very well, here's a recap: The full cast performs "Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story." Eliza, Alexander Hamilton's wife, describes how she lived for another 50 years after her husband's death. She details how she dedicated her life to his legacy, notably compiling his writings for his autobiography (per PopSugar).

After her closing monologue, Eliza gives her final line: "I can't wait to see you again. It's only a matter of time," and Alexander takes her hand. She then walks to the end of the stage where she seems to see something that surprises her, causing her to gasp as tears run down her face.

What did Eliza see at the end of Hamilton?

There are all sorts of fan theories about what Eliza sees that makes her gasp. One theory is that she has crossed over to another life and is glimpsing heaven. Another is that she is gasping in relief at being reunited with her husband after half a century apart, while still others think she sees her family again in heaven.


One popular theory is that it is not actually Alexander who takes her hand at the end of the show, but rather show creator Lin-Manuel Miranda (who plays Alexander Hamilton in the stage recording) who shows her that the work she put into telling her husband's story has paid off. Her gasp, then, is one of surprise upon breaking the fourth wall and seeing a theater full of people who have come to see a show about her husband's life.

Philippa Soo, who originated the role of Eliza and portrays her in the recording, has her own theory. "People are like, 'Is it Eliza going into heaven? Is she seeing Alexander? Is she seeing God? What is it?'" she told AOL BUILD. "And it's kind of all of those things. Sometimes, it's literally, I look out and I see the audience, and that's what it is, but I think, that idea of 'transcendence' is present in all of that. Whether it's in Eliza's mind, or in Phillipa's mind, they're both one and the same, which is beautiful about that moment."


This is what show Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda thinks Eliza's gasp means

Miranda has his own idea of what the gasp means, but it's not exactly straightforward. "I wish I could give you a simple answer, but that would be like telling you where Godot has been the whole time they're waiting for Godot," he said in an interview with Wired.


He continued, "I think it's different for each [actress who plays] Eliza. I've had different conversations. It's heart-stopping isn't it? I do think that it traverses time in some way. Whether that thing she's seeing is Hamilton, whether that thing she's seeing is heaven, whether that thing she's seeing is the world now. I think those are all valid and all fair. I do think she is seeing across a span of time in that moment."

Director Thomas Kail, who staged the production, also declined to give a straight answer in the interview. "I feel like that is actually between Eliza and Eliza," he said.