I've looked at a few fictional character quote questions on here but none seem to hit onto my question:
Can I attribute a real quote to a fictional character?
That is, can I take a quote that was said by a real person, and attribute it to an original character (who is, if it makes a difference, blatantly not on Earth -- and, for the benefit of this, not have a name that could remotely be Earthly)? My gut says no, and this is all hypothetical, but I'm curious.
For instance: I write a story on a fantasy planet all about, I dunno, hunting [assassins, murderers, vampires, YourBadThingOfChoice]. An epigraph referencing a real person can be quite jarring in such a situation. Would I be wrong if I were to have the epigraph:
"He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster" - Bel'thaziak of Rikchenwood
(ridiculous made up name to stress fantasy)
Obviously this original character did not say this (it's a Nietzsche quote); hypothetically, would it be permitted to attribute it to an obviously fictional character? I'm sure this would be allowed if Quotes came under the Public Domain but I can't find any evidence that they do.
Just to clarify -- this fictional character would be original (my creation), so I'm not taking a quote and giving it to an existing fictional character.