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How to Cite Shakespeare in Works Cited


If you are an English major or take a lot of literature classes, you will probably have to include Shakespearean works in your works cited, on more than one occasion. Although Shakespeare should be cited a specific way within the text, you do not have to format your works cited entry in any particular manner simply because it is a Shakespearean work. If you are citing a play published as a freestanding work, follow the general guidelines for citing a book. If you are citing a work published in an anthology, include information about both the work itself and the anthology. The Modern Language Association (MLA) published clear guidelines for the citation of both.

Citing a Play Published as a Book

List the last name and first name of the author. For example:

Shakespeare, William.

List the title of the play in italics, followed by a period. If the book has been edited or translated into modern English, list the name of the editor or translator after the title. For example:

King Lear. Trans. Tom Smith.

King Lear. Ed. Tom Smith.

List the city of publication, publisher and year of publication in the following format:

Oxford: Globe Theater Press, 2005.

List the medium of publication as follows:

Print.

The finished citation should appear as follows:

Shakespeare, William. King Lear. Ed. Tom Smith. Oxford: Globe Theater Press, 2005. Print.

Citing a Play Published in an Anthology

List the last name and first name of the author. For example:

Shakespeare, William.

List the title of the play in italics, followed by a period.

List the title of the anthology in italics, followed by a period. For example:

A Collection of Great Drama.

List the name of the editor of the anthology. For example:

Ed. Tom Smith.

List the city of publication, publisher and year of publication for the anthology in the following format:

Oxford: Globe Theater Press, 2005.

List the page numbers of the anthology on which the play appears, followed by a period. For example:

1235-1298.

List the medium of publication as follows:

Print.

The finished citation should appear as follows:

Shakespeare, William. King Lear. A Collection of Great Drama. Ed. Tom Smith. Oxford: Globe Theater Press, 2005. 1235-1298. Print.