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 do Catherine and Hal feel at the top of the scene?

2. Why is Hal unhappy with his own work?

3. What is Claire doing with the house?

4. Who thinks Robert should have been put in professional care?

5. Besides apartments, what other facilities has Claire scouted for Catherine?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Catherine describe Robert's mathematical processes?

2. Describe how Catherine treats the police when they arrive.

3. Who did Claire want to care for Robert during his illness, and who actually cared for him?

4. What is Hal's excuse for kissing Catherine?

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

6. Why is it strange that Catherine and Robert are speaking in the beginning of the first scene?

7. Robert was a graphomaniac. What does that mean?

8. When did Hal and Catherine first meet?

9. Who is Sophie Germain?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

What role does time have in the play? How does the playwright use time loosely to share vital information about the characters and plot? Discuss the significance of Catherine's birthday. When does the date appear in the play? How many times?

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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