Proof Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

David Auburn
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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. How did Hal and Catherine meet four years ago?

2. At the beginning of the scene, what does Hal bring for Catherine to drink?

3. Why is Hal hesitant after Catherine asks him about sex at the Conference?

4. What mathematical principle is associated with Sophie Germain?

5. What does Hal do after Catherine quotes Gauss' letter to Sophie Germain?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Hal think his papers get turned down for publication?

2. Why does Hal try to take the notebook?

3. When did Hal and Catherine first meet?

4. Describe Catherine's reaction when she discovers the notebook.

5. Are Claire and Catherine very comfortable around one another?

6. What does Catherine give to Hal that morning? Where has Catherine been keeping the object ?

7. How does Hal describe the mathematicians at his conferences?

8. How is Claire's personality different from Catherine's?

9. Does Hal think he will still have the next great mathematical revelation?

10. Describe Hal's mood the morning after he and Catherine sleep together.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

PROOF is a play, not a novel, and is meant to be viewed and performed in front of an audience. Discuss the structure of the play and why or why not it is effective.

1.) What do you think an audience is meant to take away from the play? What major elements of the play make it different from a novel?

2.) Did you notice a difference between reading the play by yourself and hearing it read aloud?

3.) How do stage directions play a role in understanding the play?

Essay Topic 2

When Catherine stays in bed for a week, Claire cancels her flight to take care of her.

1.) Does Catherine appreciate Claire staying behind to help her?

2.) Does Claire simply feel obligated to stay, or is she truly concerned for Catherine?

3.) Is Claire too quick to assume that Catherine may have a mental health problem?

Essay Topic 3

What are Catherine's arguments that she wrote the proof? What are Claire's arguments that she did not write the proof? Why is Hal skeptical? What is Catherine's explanation for her advanced understand of mathematics? At the climax of Act 1, Catherine tries to destroy the proof, though it is of extreme mathematical importance and she has poured her heart and soul into it. Why, at that point, is her only option to destroy it? Why does Claire stop her?

(see the answer keys)

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