The ending of the seminal musical Hamilton has had fans and spectators alike speculating on the meaning when Phillipa Soo's Eliza Schuyler simply gasps at the empty stage in front of her.
Phillipa Soo's performance in general has garnered plenty of praise.
Phillipa Soo's single tear in "It's Quiet Uptown" that emotionally wrecked me. That's it. That is the tweet… https://t.co/m4uAt6IHiV— Nora Dominick (@Nora Dominick)1593831050.0
@noradominick She was incredible ...and so was the single tear 💧— Laura (@Laura)1593848763.0
@noradominick Yep.— I Slapped Devin Nunes and Ouiser Boudreaux (@I Slapped Devin Nunes and Ouiser Boudreaux)1594148936.0
@noradominick That tear deserves a Tony.— Stacia Mattan (@Stacia Mattan)1593840297.0
and are we not going to talk about phillipa soo’s incredible voice???? wow i love pippa😭😍#Hamilfilm https://t.co/ucw410OT3V— 𝕝𝕖𝕩ᵇˡᵐ (@𝕝𝕖𝕩ᵇˡᵐ)1593764176.0
Eliza's gasp at the end of the show is intentionally ambiguous, but people are thinking that perhaps:
"When he goes behind her, he's no longer Alexander, he's Lin."
"He takes Eliza's hand. He lets her know that it's OK to go. That's Lin. He's playing himself. He's guiding her to the top of the stage. She breaks the fourth wall. She sees that he told her story."
I've been thinking about the ending of #HamiltonFilm for a while now and I've seen people discussing on Twitter if… https://t.co/evEfIeNxQm— #JunkTerrorLawNOW (@#JunkTerrorLawNOW)1593884241.0
I think it was the latter. "Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story" started with Washington asking the question… https://t.co/Q0CTEuR3W9— #JunkTerrorLawNOW (@#JunkTerrorLawNOW)1593884241.0
 raising funds in DC for the Washington Monument (with Washington singing "She tells my story");  speaking against slavery. (4/9)— #JunkTerrorLawNOW (@#JunkTerrorLawNOW)1593884242.0
After that, she asked "And when my time is up, have I done enough? Will they tell our story?" It should be noted th… https://t.co/NFm8glSUi9— #JunkTerrorLawNOW (@#JunkTerrorLawNOW)1593884243.0
She then asked "Can I show* you what I'm proudest of?" (-the orphanage where she helped raised hundreds of children… https://t.co/G9WnZSHyU1— #JunkTerrorLawNOW (@#JunkTerrorLawNOW)1593884617.0
(7/9) And then Hamilton entered the stage. Eliza sings "Oh I can't wait to see you again. It's only a matter of tim… https://t.co/kQU8PxvFh5— #JunkTerrorLawNOW (@#JunkTerrorLawNOW)1593884618.0
(8/9) #Hamilton led Eliza to the edge of the stage and everyone asked "Who tells your story?" and Eliza gasped. https://t.co/uYpNkWhmMT— #JunkTerrorLawNOW (@#JunkTerrorLawNOW)1593884619.0
Lin-Manuel Miranda addressed the various theories about the gasp, saying:
"I think it's different for each Eliza."
"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."
*Spoilers* It’s a lovely notion, (thank you @malloryannellis) but it breaks down the moment I’m not playing the rol… https://t.co/2hhB0TZlbD— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin-Manuel Miranda)1594226731.0
just a reminder that the gasp eliza makes at the end of “who lives, who dies, who tells your story” is her seeing t… https://t.co/QuLjCoUCAC— 𝙙𝙚𝙡𝙞𝙡𝙖𝙝 ❂ (@𝙙𝙚𝙡𝙞𝙡𝙖𝙝 ❂)1593796070.0
That ENDING, Eliza...#Hamilton https://t.co/qCeARaOh9l— Kendall Wilkey (@Kendall Wilkey)1593927238.0
I just realized that tomorrow is people’s first ever time seeing Hamilton and they have no idea about Eliza’s gasp… https://t.co/P3NRktZGDP— Ellen Frantz (@Ellen Frantz)1593727069.0
As this weekend when Hamilton came to Disney+ is the first time many people have gotten to see the masterpiece, the theories are as fresh as they were upon the musical's debut in 2015.
Theater thrives on theories—once theater is welcomed back into daily life, we hope to see more works like Hamilton.