Citing literary works correctly is crucial for academic and scholarly writing. Homer’s epic poem, “The Odyssey,” is a classic piece of literature that often requires citation in various research and literary analysis papers. In this article, we will explore how to properly cite an excerpt from Part 1 of “The Odyssey” using the Modern Language Association (MLA) style, a commonly used citation style in the humanities.
The MLA Style for Citing Poetry
When citing poetry in MLA style, it’s important to follow specific guidelines to ensure accuracy and consistency. These guidelines apply to epic poems like “The Odyssey.” Here’s the proper MLA style citation format for citing an excerpt from Part 1 of “The Odyssey”:
Author’s Last Name, First Name. “Title of Poem or Excerpt.” Title of Book or Anthology (in italics), edited by Editor’s First Name and Last Name (if applicable), edition (if applicable), volume (if applicable), Publisher, Year of Publication, Page Numbers.
In the case of “The Odyssey,” Homer is traditionally cited without a specific editor or edition, so the format simplifies as follows:
Homer. “Title of Excerpt.” The Odyssey (in italics), translated by Translator’s First Name and Last Name (if applicable), Publisher, Year of Publication, Page Numbers.
Properly Citing an Excerpt from Part 1 of “The Odyssey”
To illustrate the proper MLA citation for an excerpt from Part 1 of “The Odyssey,” let’s use an example. Suppose we want to cite lines 1-5 from Book 1 of “The Odyssey,” where the epic begins with the famous line “Tell me, O Muse.”
The correct MLA citation for this excerpt would be:
Homer. “Tell me, O Muse.” The Odyssey, translated by Robert Fagles, Penguin Classics, 1996, pp. 77-78.
In this citation:
- “Homer” is the author’s name.
- “Tell me, O Muse” is the title of the excerpt, which is enclosed in quotation marks.
- “The Odyssey” is the title of the epic, italicized to indicate it’s a full work.
- “Robert Fagles” is the translator’s name.
- “Penguin Classics” is the publisher.
- “1996” is the year of publication.
- “pp. 77-78” denotes the page numbers where the excerpt can be found in the source.
By following this MLA citation format, you provide proper credit to the author, translator, and publisher while ensuring that readers can easily locate the excerpt within the epic poem.