How to Cite "Romeo and Juliet"

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"Romeo and Juliet," a standard reading choice for grade 9 and 10 high school English classrooms, tells a classic tale of tragic love every teen will be familiar with by the time she graduates high school. High-scoring essays on "Romeo and Juliet" incorporate ample textual references to support claims a writer makes about the play. You will need to cite "Romeo and Juliet" both in-text and in your works cited page.


Place a pair of parentheses after your first quote or reference to the play "Romeo and Juliet." The parentheses belong after the last quotation mark but before the period.

Write "Shakespeare," the last name of the author, followed by the title of the play, "Romeo and Juliet." Italicize "Romeo and Juliet" because it is the title of a longer work.

Type the number of the act, scene and lines you are citing. For example, "O Romeo, Romeo, / wherefore art thou Romeo?" (Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet 2.1.74-75). Every time you cite the play afterwards, include only the act, scene and line number.

Works Cited Page

List the author's last name, Shakespeare, followed by his first name, William. Type the title of the play, "Romeo and Juliet," in italics. Shakespeare, William. Romeo and Juliet.

Include the editor, publisher and year of publication if you are citing from a print book or anthology. Identify the medium of the source. Indent the second line of the citation and double-space.

Shakespeare, William. Romeo and Juliet. Ed. Stephen Greenblatt et al. The Norton Shakespeare. New York: W.W. Norton & Company Inc., 1997. Print.

Include the date of publication, if available, and the date of access, if you are citing from a website.

Shakespeare, William. Romeo and Juliet. MIT. Web. 6 June 2011.


  • Every couple of years the Modern Languages Association modifies its style guidelines. Check its website for updates.