Abe Lincoln in Illinois Test | Final Test - Hard

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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 happens when Seth Gale's boy takes a turn for the worse before the doctor arrives at the end of Act 2, Scene 7?

2. In the debate, Douglas says Lincoln appears innocent but is very good at doing something dangerous with his words. What is it?

3. What is the name of Seth Gale's young son?

4. What does Lincoln do with his notes before he begins speaking in the debate with Douglas?

5. How many candidates are seeking the presidency?

Short Essay Questions

1. Lincoln, says Douglas in the debate, is stirring up rebellion against authority. What is the danger that Douglas foresees? And what is the solution he proposes?

2. In their debate, Lincoln compares Douglas to a woman watching her husband fight for his life with a bear. When asked by her husband for an encouraging word, the woman says, "Go husband. Go bear." What was Lincoln saying about Douglas in that comparison?

3. As he is leaving Springfield, what is Lincoln's hope regarding his future?

4. 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?

5. 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?

6. 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?

7. At the beginning of the play's final scene, it's clear that national tension have risen as a result of Lincoln's election. What worries Kavanagh as he waits for the Lincolns to board the train for Washington?

8. 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?

9. Lincoln has an outburst of his own, in response to Mary. What are his complaints against her?

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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Before the scene in which Lincoln debates Stephen Douglas, there has been talk about Lincoln's duty to the nation. But most descriptions of that perceived duty came from other characters, not Lincoln. Yet, in the debate with Douglas, Lincoln is very specific about not only his duty, but the duty of all citizens to do what's right for the country. At what point in the play does the audience sense that Lincoln has begun to see the exact shape of his duty? How does he come to define his responsibility? Does the audience (or reader) see his thinking evolve?

Essay Topic 2

Mentor Graham, Lincoln's teacher, is discussing the imperative mood. He points out that an imperative is not always a direct or even obvious command, and he has Lincoln read a newspaper account of a speech by Daniel Webster to the U.S. Senate. What is the topic of the speech and what is it that Webster is asking of the Senate? Explain how you know that Webster is using the imperative.

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?

(see the answer keys)

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