How do I cite more than one sonnet from a sequence of sonnets?

As always, when you are citing a work contained in a larger work, you must identify the particular work you are citing. Thus, if you are citing more than one sonnet from a sequence of sonnets, include the word sonnet and the sonnet’s number in your prose or parenthetically and create one works-cited-list entry for the entire collection of sonnets. 

In sonnet 137 William Shakespeare asks Love, “[W]hat dost thou to mine eyes, / That they behold and see not what they see?” (lines 1–2), and he speaks of a “perjur’d eye” in sonnet 152 (line 13).

or 

In his Sonnets, William Shakespeare asks Love, “[W]hat dost thou to mine eyes, / That they behold and see not what they see?” (sonnet 137, lines 1–2), and he later speaks of a “perjur’d eye” (sonnet 152, line 13).

Work Cited

Shakespeare, William. Sonnets. The Riverside Shakespeare, edited by G. Blakemore Evans et al., 4th ed., vol. 2, Houghton Mifflin, 1974, pp. 1745–80.

Because the sonnets are sequenced numerically, it is not necessary to include page numbers in your parenthetical citation (though doing so would not be incorrect).

Published 30 August 2018

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