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Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 177

Women have made valuable contributions to mathematics in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Research the work of two female mathematicians and briefly describe their achievements.

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What do you think Catherine means when she refers in the play to ‘‘proofs like music?’’ What might mathematics and music, which on the surface seem so different, have in common?

What signs does Catherine show that she is suffering from depression? What is depression? How is it recognized? What are the causes of it? How is it treated?

In the script, the playwright uses the word ‘‘beat’’ as a cue for the actors. ‘‘Beat’’ means a pause in the dialogue, a moment of silence. It can indicate a moment of confusion or awkwardness or a change of mood in the characters. Examine act 1, scene 1, after Hal enters. From there to the end of the scene there are eleven beats during Hal’s conversation with Catherine. Imagine you are playing Hal or Catherine. What is each character feeling during each beat? Describe what the actors would need to convey at each beat.

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