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. When does Hal arrive in the scene?

2. What does Claire think Hal is to Catherine?

3. Why is Hal unhappy with his own work?

4. What is Imaginary Number, or i?

5. Why is Hal able to put the notebooks in order?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the general mood at the house after Robert's funeral.

2. Why has Hal decided that Catherine wrote the proof?

3. Why is Hal's entrance at the end of the scene helpful for Catherine?

4. What has Hal found in the locked drawer, and why is it so important?

5. Why is Hal sensitive about getting older?

6. Describe Robert's demeanor throughout the scene.

7. Why does Claire want Catherine to come to New York?

8. Why is Claire so worried when Catherine cannot explain the police presence at the house the night before?

9. Is Claire treating Catherine well in the beginning of the scene?

10. Who paid off the mortgage on the house? How?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

In the play, there is a fine line between madness and genius; kindness and presumption. Discuss this fine line as it applies to:

1.) Robert.

2.) Catherine.

3.) Claire.

Essay Topic 2

While Hal is a mathematician and a doctoral candidate, he mishandles almost his entire relationship Catherine.

1.) Describe Hal and Catherine's relationship in chronological order, starting with their first meeting and moving through the end of Act 2.

2.) Does Hal really care for Catherine, or is he only interested in her proof?

3.) Could Hal's attraction to Catherine also be tangled up with his sorrow over Robert's death?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the significance of students in bookstores for Robert. When does the audience first hear it from Robert? What is the significance of the second time the audience hears Robert talk about students and bookstores? What are the implications for Robert as a teacher?

(see the answer keys)

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