1. "Who cannot condemn rashness in cold blood? /To kill, I grant, is sin's extremest gust (=outburst), /but in defence, by mercy, 'tis most just" proclaims Alcibiades, a soldier, in 'Timon of Athens'. In 1959, a horrible crime of the first kind occurred in Kansas. What American writer wrote a classic account of the case, entitled 'In Cold Blood'?
Hunter S Thompson
2."Cry 'havoc' and let slip (=unleash) the dogs of war, /that this foul deed shall smell above the earth/ with carrion men, groaning for burial". This is Antony, vowing to avenge the death of his beloved Caesar in 'The Tragedy of Julius Caesar'. What well-known British thriller author, who achieved a huge breakthrough with his first novel in 1971 about another attempted regicide, titled his third novel 'The Dogs of War'?
3.Now is the winter of our discontent /made glorious summer by this son of York" are the famous first lines of 'Richard III', uttered by the namesake hero (well, not quite) of the play. What American Nobel Prize winner called his 1961 novel about intrigue on a more mundane level "The Winter of Our Discontent"?
4.To be or not to be, that is the question" alleges Hamlet, as you probably know (unless somebody forced you to take this quiz). If you know your jazz history, you should know which one of these musicians hilariously named his 1979 autobiography, 'To Be or not to Bop'?
5.Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible (=perceptible)/ to feeling as to sight? Or art thou but/ a dagger of the mind, a false creation" exclaims an anguished Macbeth before his horrible deed. In 1983 Joe McGinniss published 'Fatal Vision', a book about a famous murder case in 1970 that took place in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Who was the man accused of stabbing his entire family to death in what became known as 'The Green Beret killings'?
6."My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun; Coral is far more red than her lips' red" is a curious non-compliment from Shakespeare's sonnet #130. What British author, more known for a violent, bleak vision of the future, famously filmed in 1971, wrote a novel about Shakespeare's life entitled 'Nothing Like the Sun'?
7. In 'Hamlet', the Prince of Denmark stages a play within the play to "catch the conscience of the king". When this usurper king, Claudius, asks about the title of the play, Hamlet comes up with a name that Agatha Christie would borrow for a theatrical piece, which holds the record for the most performances ever of a stage production. Which is it?
Answer: ( Two words, first one 'The')
8. "By the pricking of my thumbs, /something wicked this way comes", hisses one of the witches in 'Macbeth', the wicked one being Macbeth himself. In a 1962 fantasy novel it is 'Mr Dark', a carnival director. What American author, mostly known for his short stories mixing science fiction, horror and fantasy in a quite unique fashion, wrote the novel 'Something Wicked this Way Comes'?
Arthur C Clarke
Philip K Dick
9. "The moon's an arrant thief, /and her pale fire she snatches from the sun" exclaims a bitter Timon of Athens in act IV of the play by the same name. What Russian-born author, mostly known for a classic novel, which was once considered another dirty book, wrote an amazingly intricate meta-story called 'Pale Fire'?
10. Life is "...a tale/ told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, / signifying nothing", says a by now very depressed (and not without reason) Macbeth in the final act. What celebrated author wrote 'The Sound and the Fury' about some other people in low spirits in the Deep South?
Joyce Carol Oates