How to Cite Shakespeare in Works Cited

by Forest Time, Demand Media

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

Step 1

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

Step 2

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.

Step 3

List the city of publication, publisher and year of publication in the following format: Oxford: Globe Theater Press, 2005.

Step 4

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

Step 1

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

Step 2

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

Step 3

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

Step 4

List the name of the editor of the anthology. For example: Ed. Tom Smith.

Step 5

List the city of publication, publisher and year of publication for the anthology in the following format: Oxford: Globe Theater Press, 2005.

Step 6

List the page numbers of the anthology on which the play appears, followed by a period. For example: 1235-1298.

Step 7

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.

About the Author

Forest Time has been writing for over a decade. During this time, he founded and edited a short-lived literary magazine, received several prizes for his poetry and published a master's thesis on Cambodian history. He received his Master of Arts in Asian history from the University of Maine at Orono in 2007.