Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on David Auburn's Proof. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
Proof: Plot Summary
Proof: Detailed Summary & Analysis
Proof: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of David Auburn
Historical Context of Proof
Other Books Related to Proof
- Full Title: Proof
- When Written: 1997-1998
- Where Written: London, United Kingdom & New York City, New York
- When Published: 2000
- Literary Period: Realism
- Genre: Play
- Setting: Chicago, Illinois
- Climax: When Hal tells Catherine that he believes that she wrote the proof
- Antagonist: Catherine’s sister Claire, Hal (at some points), sexism, and mental illness
Extra Credit for Proof
Cinematic success. Following Proof’s critical success in theatres, David Auburn adapted the play into a film by the same name, which was released in 2005. Gwyneth Paltrow, who starred as Catherine, was nominated for a Best Actress Golden Globe Award for her performance.
Progressing Primes. In the play Proof, Catherine tells Hal that the largest Germain prime known is 92,305 x 2^16,998 +1. This comment dates the play to the late-1990s, as larger Germain primes have since been discovered. As of 2020, the largest known Germain Prime is 2,618,163,402,417 × 2^1,290,000 – 1, a number that yields 388,342 digits!