Wednesday, November 14, 2007

What fresh hell is this...

William Shakespeare

A Robert on both your houses!

Which work of Shakespeare was the original quote from?

Get your own quotes:

6 comments:

hoverFrog said...

Mercutio's death scene from Romeo and Juliet.

"A plague a' both your houses! I am sped."

Anonymous said...

"What fresh hell is this?" is from Dorothy Parker, not Shakspeare.

Anonymous said...

What fresh hell is this is actually a line from midsummer nights dream. Dorothy Parker may have used the line to great aplomb but so did Sir William!

Anonymous said...

I looked up the full text of the play (because I ahad not yet found conformation that Shakespeare sis NOT phrase it in this play) and "what fresh hell is this" is this isn't there. It is a line ascribed accurately to Dorothy Parker, who, when interrupted in her work by a ringing phone, spat out the epithet. This, her most famous line, is the title of her biography.

Rebecca Pratt said...

Parker allegedly would actually say, "What fresh hell can this be?" when her doorbell rang, which was later changed to the variation "What Fresh Hell is This?", as the title of her biography, written by Margaret Meade, close to 20 years after Parker's death, & that is now the version of the quotation associated with Parker. Even knowing this, I still say the latter--it's just easier, IMO. It's often incorrectly associated w/ Shakespeare. At the risk of appearing to be arrogant on the subject, I was an Acting Major who studied & performed Shakespeare, & I currently work for Austin Shakespeare; this line is not in "A Midsummer Night's Dream." It is, however, very similar to a line from "The Pickwick Papers" by Charles Dickens: "What now, what now?” said the old man. “What fresh misery is this?" (published 1836-1837).

Anonymous said...

Allegedly, Dorothy Parker said, "What fresh hell can this be" when the doorbell rang. A variation was made on that for the title of her biography, written by Meade, about 20 years after Parker's death, & it is that variation that has come to be known as the quotation Parker said. At the risk of