How do I cite an edition of a work that contains the original text and a modernized version?
Note: This post relates to content in the eighth edition of the MLA Handbook. For up-to-date guidance, see the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook.
If you are citing an edition that contains two versions of a single work, such as a No Fear edition of one of Shakespeare’s plays, which has both the original text and an adaptation in modern English, it is generally clearest to create one entry for the edition. Use a note to explain that both versions of the text are quoted from the same edition. The following sentence, note, and works-cited-list entry provide examples:
The famous opening lines of Hamlet’s soliloquy in act 3, scene 1, “To be or not to be, that is the question,” are translated in the No Fear edition of the play as “The question is: is it better to be alive or dead?” (3.1.57).1
1. The edition I cite contains both the original text and a version in modern English.
Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. Sparknotes, 2019, www.sparknotes.com/nofear/shakespeare/hamlet/.