There are three main ways to quote from Shakespeare properly. See the format below depending on how much of the play you are quoting. This is also done in proper MLA format.

CITATION EXAMPLE – a quotation where more than one person speaks:

…An early example of this lies in Viola/Cesario’s first meeting with Olivia.  Viola is silencing Maria so that Olivia can say what she wishes about Orsino.  Olivia does not want to discuss it and quickly changes the topic:

OLIVIA. Sure you have some hideous matter to deliver when the courtesy of it is so fearful.  Speak your office.

VIOLA. It alone concerns your ear… My words are as full of peace as matter.

OLIVIA. Yet you began rudely.  What are you?  What would you?

VIOLA. The rudeness that hath appeared in me have I learned from my entertainment. (I.v.198-206)

Olivia’s choice to call Cesario’s work “hideous” and “fearful” is very forward of her

(198-99).  In the Elizabethan era, a lady of her calibre would never express herself in

such a vulgar way. ….

CITATION EXAMPLE – a quotation where only one person speaks just one line of text:

Olivia further uses language in a masculine fashion when discussing Cesario.  In one specific scene, Olivia resembles a persistent male in a modern day bar.  In the scene, Olivia asks Caesario, “Tell me what thou think’st of me ” (III.i.136).  This is reminiscent of the pick-up line, ‘So, baby, what do you think of me so far?’ This sort of banter continues as Olivia responds with, “I would you were as I would have you be” (141).  This shockingly begs an expected…

CITATION EXAMPLE – a quotation where only one person speaks more than one line of text (use a / to separate lines of text):

Another situation occurs during one of Olivia’s asides.  She has sent for Cesario to come and see her and is plotting how to win his love.  She questions what to do with him: “How shall I feast him?  What bestow of him? / For youth is bought more oft than begged or borrowed,” (III.iv.2-3).  Olivia is suggesting that a man can buy love, perhaps with gifts and flattery, if the object of desire is young…

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William Anderson (Schoolworkhelper Editorial Team)
William completed his Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts in 2013. He current serves as a lecturer, tutor and freelance writer. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, walking his dog and parasailing. Article last reviewed: 2022 | St. Rosemary Institution © 2010-2024 | Creative Commons 4.0

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