Proof Test | Final Test - Hard

David Auburn
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Who or what interrupts Catherine and Robert's argument?

2. What was Robert secretly terrified of, in regards to his career?

3. What does Claire do for a living?

4. What does Robert love about bookstores in September?

5. When Claire asks Catherine to recite the proof, how does Catherine reply?

Essay 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

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?

(see the answer keys)

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