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

2. Why has Catherine come to the house?

3. What are the subjects of the proof?

4. What does Claire think about Hal's relationship with Catherine?

5. At the end of the scene what doesn't Robert want Catherine to do?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why is Robert so excited about working?

2. Where has Catherine come from to check on Robert?

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

4. When did Catherine write the proof?

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

6. Why has Robert decided to write on the porch?

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

8. What does Claire think is the problem with mathematicians in emotional situations?

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

10. What is Robert examining in the proof?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following 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

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?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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