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How to Quote Shakespeare

Here is a quick guide on how to quote Shakespeare according to the


standards set by the Modern Language Association (MLA). For more
comprehensive inormation! consu"t the MLA Handbook or #riters o
$esearch %apers! &th edition ('(()).
*ta"ici+e the tit"es o p"ays,
Richard III or Othello.
*
-ite "ine and page numbers up to .(. "ike this, /01/&2 above .((! you
repeat on"y the "ast two 3gures, '..1.' (but o course! /)&10(4 and
)51.()). 6se arabic numera"s rather than roman numera"s or citations
o acts! scenes! and "ine numbers,
Twelfth Night (1.5.268-76).
*
A"ways use Arabic numera"s to reer to acts and scenes,
In 3.1, Hamlet delivers his most famous soliloqu.
(7o 89: say, *n Act ***! scene i! Ham"et de"ivers his most amous
so"i"oquy.)
*
* a prose quotation runs four lines or less! put it in quotation
marks and incorporate it in the te;t,
!he immensel o"ese #alstaff tells the $rin%e& '(hen I )as a"out th ears, Hal, I )as not an
ea*le+s talon in the )aist, I %ould have %re-t into an alderman+s thum" rin*. (2./.325-27).
*
If a prose quotation runs more than four lines! set it o< rom your
te;t by beginning a new "ine! indenting one inch rom the "et margin!
and type it doub"e1spaced! without adding quotation marks. A co"on
genera""y introduces an indented quotation.
In Much Ado About Nothing, 0enedi%1 refle%ts on )hat he has overheard 2on $edro, 3eonato,
and 4laudio sa&
!his %an "e no tri%1. !he %onferen%e )as sadl "orne. !he have the truth of this from
Hero. !he seem to -it the lad. It seems her affe%tions have their full "ent. 3ove me5
(h, it must "e requited. I hear ho) I am %ensured. !he sa I )ill "ear mself -roudl
if I -er%eive the love %ome from her, the sa too that she )ill rather die than *ive an
si*n of affe%tion. (2.3.217-2/)
*
* you quote a"" or part o a single line of verse! put it in quotation
marks within your te;t,
0ero)ne+s -rote%hni% line '3i*ht, see1in* li*ht, doth li*ht of li*ht "e*uile. is a te6t-"oo1
e6am-le of antana%lasis (1.1.77).
=ou may a"so incorporate two or three lines in the same way,
using a slash with a space on each side ( > ) to separate them,
4laudius alludes to the stor of 4ain and 7"el )hen he des%ri"es his %rime& 'It hath the -rimal
eldest %urse u-on+t, 8 7 "rother+s murder. (3.3.37-38).
*
Verse quotations of more than three lines should begin on a
new line. *ndent each "ine one inch rom the "et margin and doub"e1
space between "ines! adding no quotation marks that do not appear in
the origina". * the quotation starts in the midd"e o a "ine o verse!
reproduce it that way! do not shit it to the "et margin,
9aques "e*ins his famous s-ee%h " %om-arin* the )orld to a theater&
7ll the )orld+s a sta*e
7nd all the men and )omen merel -laers&
!he have their e6its and their entran%es, (2.7.138-/:)
*
* you quote dialogue between two or more characters in a play!
set the quotation o< rom your te;t. ?egin each part o the dia"ogue
with the appropriate character@s name indented one inch rom the "et
margin and written in a"" capita" "etters. Fo""ow the name with a period!
and start the quotation. *ndent a"" subsequent "ines in the character@s
speech an additiona" quarter inch. #hen the dia"ogue shits to another
character! start a new "ine indented one inch rom the "et margin.
Maintain this pattern throughout the entire quotation.
;<=>?I3. Hear me, m lord.
(hat need ou five-and-t)ent, ten, or five
!o follo) in a house )here t)i%e so man
Have %ommand to tend ou5
?>;7=. (hat need one5
3>7?. <, reason not the need@ (2./.25/-58)

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