Proof Test | Final 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. What is the lighting cue at the end of the scene?

2. What is Robert opposed to having for dinner?

3. Why can't Robert concentrate in the house?

4. What does Claire do for a living?

5. What does Claire ask Hal to do before he leaves?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe why Claire allows Hal to take the notebook.

2. Why or why not does Catherine want to attend the University of Chicago?

3. Did Hal intentionally take advantage of Catherine when they slept together?

4. Why has Hal come back to the house after the fight?

5. How does Catherine meet Hal?

6. Does Claire believe that Catherine wrote the proof? Why or why not?

7. Is Robert upset that Catherine plans to leave? Why or why not?

8. What do Robert and Catherine decide to do for dinner?

9. Why is the date in the scene particularly significant?

10. Why was Hal the first person to whom Catherine showed the proof?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Hal and Robert are each afraid of getting old and losing their edge. They think mathematics is a young man's game, and very quickly a mathematician is past his prime.

1.) Could this idea have anything to do with Robert's illness? He works so hard to match his former genius, but cannot---could this be a contributing factor?

2.) Hal jokes that he has resigned himself to a teaching position. Do you think there is more it? Is Hal disappointed in his own lack of genius?

3.) Describe the lengths mathematicians go to in order to retain their edge, as described by Hal. How competitive is this field?

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

Claire says that mathematician don't think: they just create catastrophes and expect other people to come in and clean them up.

1.) How is this true of Robert? Of Hal? Of Catherine?

2.) Does Claire feel she is cleaning up Hal's mess? Robert's mess?

3.) Does Claire feel that Robert should have been in professional care? How would this have changed events in the play?

(see the answer keys)

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