At the end of Scene One, Lincoln tells Booth that their names were their father's "idea of a joke." Do you think that is the truth? If so, what is the joke? Why is it strange for a pair of brothers to be named after this American president and his assassin?
This question will allow students to begin to delve into the racial and political dimensions of this play. Students are likely to have already learned about the Civil War and Lincoln's assassination, and will no doubt see the irony in one of these African-American brothers being named after a violent opponent to the abolition of slavery, who is widely regarded as a villain. It's impossible to know for sure whether the...
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