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Shakespeare Or Batman? That Is The Question
QUOTE CORRECTLY ANSWERED
1 As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods — they kill us for their sport. 75.2%
2 I will not become an executioner. 73.3
3 Weep I cannot. But my heart bleeds. 72.3
4 I will break and twist things within you. You can’t conceive of the pain I can cause. 72.0
5 As a man, I’m flesh and blood. I can be ignored, I can be destroyed. 71.8
6 He is come to open the purple testament of bleeding war. 71.8
7 Sometimes it’s only madness that makes us what we are. 70.1
8 You’ll hunt me. You’ll condemn me, set the dogs on me. 69.6
9 That blood should sprinkle me to make me grow. 69.5
10 I am a feather for each wind that blows. 68.9
11 Then all you’ve waited for is a puppet. A soulless little doll. 67.3
12 We both stared into the abyss, but when it looked back at us, you blinked. 67.1
13 … how many hours bring about the day, how many days will finish up the year, how many years a mortal man may live. 66.9
14 The weight of this sad time we must obey. 65.8
15 And as the sun, that had been too afraid to show its face in this city, started to turn the black into grey, I smiled. 65.2
16 They have tied me to a stake — I cannot fly. But, bear-like, I must fight the course. 65.0
17 Your feast is nearly over. From this moment on, none of you are safe. 58.2
18 … and darkness be the burier of the dead. 57.9
19 Welcome destruction, blood, and massacre. I see, as in a map, the end of all. 57.6
20 I can live no longer by thinking. 56.3
21 I will grind your bones to dust. And with your blood and it I’ll make a paste. 56.3
22 I will encounter darkness as a bride, and hug it in my arms. 56.3
23 Grief forgives what can never be forgiven. 52.4
24 Hell is empty, and all the devils are here. 49.0
25 Did I finally reach the limits of reason? And find the Devil waiting? 47.8
26 We die every day … a thousand times an hour. 47.5
27 Vengeance is in my heart, death in my hand. Blood and revenge are hammering in my head. 46.5
28 I’m a man of thirty — of twenty again. The rain on my chest is a baptism. I’m born again. 44.0
29 You cannot stop me, not with wine or vows or the weight of age. You cannot stop me, but still you try. 36.7
30 Smoldering, I burn you — burning you, I flare, hot and bright and fierce and beautiful. 31.8
Can you name the source, Shakespeare or ‘Batman,’ quoted below?

As of April 21, 2016

Source: Sporcle

Are these lines from the Bard or from the Bat? Most of the more than 150,000 people who have tried to answer did little better than if they had guessed at this maddening quiz.

Results of a Sporcle quiz aren’t evidence that Shakespeare, who is commonly believed to have died 400 years ago Saturday, is forgotten. They’re evidence that his works have inspired many other works of art in the past 400 years and that it’s a fun diversion to try to guess for yourself whether he wrote a line or one of his artistic descendants did. (I intentionally omitted the answers from the table above; if you don’t want to be spoiled with the answers, take the quiz before scrolling to the bottom of this post.)

The quiz of 30 quotes — 15 from plays by Shakespeare and 15 from “Batman” comic books, graphic novels and movies — has been online at Sporcle, the provider of brain teasers to procrastinators, since May 2011. Just 0.2 percent of people who’ve taken it got every quote right. The average score is 60 percent: 62 percent of Shakespeare quotes were identified correctly, and just 58 percent of “Batman” quotes. In other words, the average quiz taker did just 10 percentage points better than the expected yield from guessing.

This isn’t a representative sample of people, unlike the 1,000 Brits who were polled this month on lines from the Bard and the Biebs and recognized more Justin Bieber lyrics than Shakespeare quotes. These are people who sought out this quiz among the nearly 600,000 available on Sporcle.

Then again, the quotes also aren’t representative: They’re among Shakespeare’s goriest and Batman’s most poetic and image-laden, many of them written by longtime “Batman” writer and illustrator Frank Miller. And a couple of the Shakespeare quotes have been modernized — a “th’” became “the” and a “mine,” “my” — which makes them tougher to place.

If neither rhyme nor reason has revealed the answers to you, the game is up:

QUOTE SOURCE
1 As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods — they kill us for their sport. Shakespeare
2 I will not become an executioner. Batman
3 Weep I cannot. But my heart bleeds. Shakespeare
4 I will break and twist things within you. You can’t conceive of the pain I can cause. Batman
5 As a man, I’m flesh and blood. I can be ignored, I can be destroyed. Batman
6 He is come to open the purple testament of bleeding war. Shakespeare
7 Sometimes it’s only madness that makes us what we are. Batman
8 You’ll hunt me. You’ll condemn me, set the dogs on me. Batman
9 That blood should sprinkle me to make me grow. Shakespeare
10 I am a feather for each wind that blows. Shakespeare
11 Then all you’ve waited for is a puppet. A soulless little doll. Batman
12 We both stared into the abyss, but when it looked back at us, you blinked. Batman
13 … how many hours bring about the day, how many days will finish up the year, how many years a mortal man may live. Shakespeare
14 The weight of this sad time we must obey. Shakespeare
15 And as the sun, that had been too afraid to show its face in this city, started to turn the black into grey, I smiled. Batman
16 They have tied me to a stake — I cannot fly. But, bear-like, I must fight the course. Shakespeare
17 Your feast is nearly over. From this moment on, none of you are safe. Batman
18 … and darkness be the burier of the dead. Shakespeare
19 Welcome destruction, blood, and massacre. I see, as in a map, the end of all. Shakespeare
20 I can live no longer by thinking. Shakespeare
21 I will grind your bones to dust. And with your blood and it I’ll make a paste. Shakespeare
22 I will encounter darkness as a bride, and hug it in my arms. Shakespeare
23 Grief forgives what can never be forgiven. Batman
24 Hell is empty, and all the devils are here. Shakespeare
25 Did I finally reach the limits of reason? And find the Devil waiting? Batman
26 We die every day … a thousand times an hour. Batman
27 Vengeance is in my heart, death in my hand. Blood and revenge are hammering in my head. Shakespeare
28 I’m a man of thirty — of twenty again. The rain on my chest is a baptism. I’m born again. Batman
29 You cannot stop me, not with wine or vows or the weight of age. You cannot stop me, but still you try. Batman
30 Smoldering, I burn you — burning you, I flare, hot and bright and fierce and beautiful. Batman
The Bat or the Bard?

As of April 21, 2016

Source: Sporcle

Carl Bialik was FiveThirtyEight’s lead writer for news.

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