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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.
Multiple Choice Questions
1. What does Lincoln ask Mary Todd in Act 2, Scene 8?
(a) To be his wife.
(b) To contribute to his campaign.
(c) To leave town so he and Ninian Edwards can resume their friendship.
(d) To move west to Oregon with him and Seth Gale.
2. How does Mary Todd accept Lincoln's proposal at the end of Act 2, Scene 8?
(a) She clutches him tightly, declares her undying love and begins sobbing.
(b) She appears to hesitate, keeping him wondering for a moment if she will accept.
(c) She dances happily into his arms and pulls his beard while saying yes.
(d) She bursts into tears and says she must marry him because he has ruined her reputation.
3. Seth Gale tells Abe he's feeling "pretty scared" about his son's health. What does Lincoln tell him?
(a) He agrees Gale should be scared and urges him to turn back.
(b) He urges Gale not to be scared, that he is doing a "big thing" and shouldn't let anything beat him down.
(c) He offers to burn some incense and herbs to smoke out the boy's fever.
(d) He tells Gale that he, too, is scared but he will go West with the Gale family.
4. How old is Lincoln as he leaves Illinois for the White House?
5. What causes Lincoln to change his mind about his future?
(a) After seeing Seth Gale's son, Lincoln realizes how much he wants children.
(b) He fails as a farmer and sees he must return to politics.
(c) He understands he's not getting any younger or better looking, so it's time to settle down.
(d) After meeting Seth Gale, Lincoln realizes his destiny is in national service, as Mary always said.
Short Answer Questions
1. To which of Shakespeare's characters does Douglas compare Lincoln?
2. What is the essential element Lincoln's party is seeking in a presidential candidate when they ask him to run?
3. What is Mary Todd's mood when she finds out--at the last minute--that important men are coming to talk to her husband?
4. What is the last line of the play, sung by the crowd?
5. How many states are there on Election Day, 1860?
Short Essay Questions
1. Lincoln tells Mary Todd that his encounter with Seth Gale a few days earlier was the spur that brought him to her door. What was the decision Lincoln made while visiting with Gale and how does the playwright convey Lincoln's ambivalence about that decision?
2. The cheering crowd chants for Lincoln to make a speech from the back of the railroad car. He begins by naming the problems facing the nation. But he finishes on a note of hope. What outcome is Lincoln hoping to achieve?
3. Stephen Douglas takes the position that "each state should mind its own business," says Lincoln in the debate. It might seem like the safer course, he argues, but there is a danger to following that advice. What is the danger that Lincoln foresees?
4. In Act 2, Scene 8, Lincoln apologizes for being a coward. He says he shrank from the marriage because he didn't want or believe in the destiny Mary envisions for him. Now, though, he says he wants to "strive to deserve" her faith. Does the way that Lincoln again asks her to marry him indicate that he loves her or has some other reason for marrying her?
5. What is the effect on Lincoln of Gale's idealism, his vow to denounce his American citizenship if the government doesn't ban slavery?
6. Where is Gale taking his family as he meets with Lincoln in Act 2, Scene 7? Why is he going?
7. While Lincoln asserts that he submits to the will of God, he doesn't belong to any church. What are his objections to organized forms of worship?
8. As he waits for the election results, Lincoln calls the evening a "death watch." What are Lincoln's feelings about winning the election?
9. Almost at the moment he learns of his election, Lincoln's life changes in a way he doesn't like. In the play, who or want is the sign of this change? And which of the play's themes does this change fit into?
10. In Act 3, Scene 9, Stephen Douglas says the question of equal rights for slaves has been legally settled. How was the issue settled and what was the decision?
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