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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.
Short Answer Questions
1. What is happening when Lincoln enters Rutledge Tavern to deliver mail?
2. Who does Lincoln blame for all the political strife in the country?
3. What last ditch effort does Mary Todd's sister make to prevent a proposal from Lincoln toward the end of Act 2, Scene 5?
4. What, besides politics, does Lincoln have on his mind during the scene in the Rutledge Tavern?
5. What is the true reason Lincoln wants to end the engagement with Mary Todd?
Short Essay Questions
1. In his prayer for Seth Gale's son, Lincoln also prays for something else. What is it?
2. How does Mary Todd characterize the man her sister married and the life they have together? And what is wrong with that life, according to Mary Todd?
3. Does Lincoln's teacher agree or disagree with the argument Webster makes for maintaining the Union in the speech Lincoln reads in the first scene of the play?
4. How desperate is Lincoln and what is the event that seems to have caused his emotional outbreak?
5. When Josh Speed burns Lincoln's letter to Mary Todd, Lincoln tells him the real reasons he doesn't want to go through with the marriage. What are his real reasons?
6. What is the effect on Lincoln of Gale's idealism, his vow to denounce his American citizenship if the government doesn't ban slavery?
7. Describe the setting in Act 2, Scene 5 (the parlor of the Edwards' home) and explain what the setting is meant to tell the audience.
8. On Election Day, as the Lincolns wait for voting results, Mary becomes increasingly anxious. Finally, Lincoln suggests she go home to wait. She responds with a surprising outburst. What does she say and why does she feel so strongly?
9. Why is it that debt is always heavy on Lincoln's mind during his early adulthood, covered by Act 1, Scene 1?
10. By Act 2, Scene 4, it is clear that Lincoln's friendship with Ninian Edwards (the governor's son) has advanced. What evidence does Lincoln offer of his popularity?
Essay Topic 1
His visit with Seth Gale in Act 2, Scene 6 has an emotional effect on Lincoln. What did the two men talk about? How did their conversation affect Lincoln?
Essay Topic 2
Mary Todd is a determined woman, according to her depiction in the play. She settles on Lincoln as a husband over the objections of her sister and even takes him back after he jilts her and is out of touch for several years. Meanwhile, his words and demeanor suggest that Lincoln might have had other motives than love in wanting to join his destiny with Mary's. After 18 years, they do not seem happily married and, when he is elected, they argue. Besides love, what were Lincoln's motives in marrying Mary Todd? What were her motives for agreeing? Was their decision to marry good or bad? Support your opinion with examples from the play.
Essay Topic 3
The basic form of drama is often defined as a character with a goal, faced with an obstacle to achieving that goal, followed by efforts by the character--helped or hindered by others--to overcome the obstacles and achieve the goal. In the process, the main character often undergoes an emotional or mental change of some sort, or has an insight that allows him/her to succeed. How does the play, Abe Lincoln in Illinois, fit into that skeleton of a dramatic work?
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