A Conversation for 'Withnail and I' - the Film
ExterminatingAngel Started conversation Jun 17, 2008
I hope this isn't seen as churlish, but I think that if you're going to quote then it's an exact act, not an approximation. Repeating one of the webs most widely published misquotes the article claims the line "what is this quitessence of dusk" forms part of the final scene in the film. Of course 'dusk' doesn't quite make sense in context and is in fact incorrect. The word there is correctly 'dust', yielding:
"what is this quintessence of dust'.
Also, the footnote says "From Act Two, Scene Two of Hamlet by William Shakespeare." Well to say 'from' implies it's quted from there. In fact it's a very loose truncated version of Shakespeares original which is actually a slightly more florid piece of prose than that which Withnail speaks. For my money, Bruce Robinson has improved on it, but here's the original [sourced from Wikipedia]. It's close, but clearly not the same.
The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark/Act 2
I have of late--but wherefore I know not--lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of exercises; and indeed it goes so heavily with my disposition that this goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory, this most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave
o'erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire, why, it appears no other thing to me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours.
What a piece of work is a man! how noble in reason! how infinite in faculty! in form and moving how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the
world! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? man delights not me: no, nor woman neither, though by your smiling you seem to say so.
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