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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. Seth Gale tells Abe he's feeling "pretty scared" about his son's health. What does Lincoln tell him?
2. How does Lincoln describe Douglas' verbal skills?
3. What is the mood of the crowd surging around Lincoln at the railroad station?
4. Why has Lincoln come to see Mary Todd in Act 2, Scene 8?
5. Who, in Lincoln's headquarters, is the most anxious about the voting returns?
Short Essay Questions
1. 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?
2. 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?
3. 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?
4. Lincoln has an outburst of his own, in response to Mary. What are his complaints against her?
5. 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?
6. Mary Todd accepts Lincoln's return in Act 2, Scene 8 without much resistance. She extracts a promise from Lincoln that he'll never leave again, then declares her love for him and her determination "to fight by his side" until death parts them. Does Mary Todd truly love Lincoln or is she using him?
7. 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?
8. 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?
9. As he is leaving Springfield, what is Lincoln's hope regarding his future?
10. As he waits for the election results, Lincoln calls the evening a "death watch." What are Lincoln's feelings about winning the election?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
If one of the themes of the play is Lincoln's duty to serve his country, how does the playwright use symbols throughout the play to reinforce that theme?
Essay Topic 2
How does the John Keats poem, "On Death," which Lincoln reads at the end of Scene 1, reflect his personality or philosophy? What does the poem say about life and why does Lincoln seem to agree with it? Does his reaction to Ann Rutledge--later, when she says she can envision falling in love with him--signal a change in his outlook from his initial reaction to the poem?
Essay Topic 3
Early on, Lincoln tells his backers that--if he does decide to seek elected office--they won't find him arguing for change or progress or revolution. He continues to hold to this conservatism now that he is a lawyer--he describes himself as someone who "keeps his mouth shut and abides by the Constitution." How does Lincoln explain his aversion to getting involved and arguing for change in which he believes?
This section contains 1,284 words
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