Blended Quotations

Introducing Quotations
• Introduce every quotation smoothly and
grammatically into a statement of your
• Do not leave the quotation hanging with no
introduction, and do not violate the rules of
grammar to include the quotation.
• Is this correct? Why or why not?
• Macbeth has changed. "Out, out, brief
candle!" (5.5.23).
NO transition phrase; insufficient
introduction; Isolated Quote (IQ)
• Is this correct? Why or why not?
• For example, Macbeth, a changed man after the
death of his powerful wife, wearily exclaims,
"Out, out, brief candle!" (5.5.23).
•Yes, it’s correct.
• Is this correct? Why or why not?
• Macbeth has changed "Out, out, brief
candle!" (5.5.23).
•No, it’s not grammatically correct… Fragment
• For example, upon hearing that his wife
has died, Macbeth can only cry, "Out, out,
brief candle!" (5.5.23). This shows that
life now seems to him no more than a
flame that quickly vanishes.
•For example, Macbeth now sees life as a
mere "tale / Told by an idiot, full of sound and
fury, / Signifying nothing" (5.5.26-28).
This shows that …
Student sample:
In response to the witches’ first statements
regarding Macbeth becoming king and
Banquo fathering kings, Macbeth wants to
“think upon what hath chanced, and at
more time, the interim having weighed it ,
let us speak out free hearts each to other,”
thus leaving this prediction to chance
What’s wrong?
No line breaks
Student sample:
When Macbeth is too afraid to follow through
with the murder plot orchestrated by Lady
Macbeth, she responds by taunting,
“Wouldst thou have that / Which thou
esteem’st the ornament of life, / and Live a
coward in thine own esteem?” (1.7.41-43).
NOTE: Do not overuse the word “says.”
Vary your language.
What other words can you use besides “says.”
Student Sample:
When Macbeth finds that Macduff has fled to England and
because that poses a threat to Macbeth, he promises to
“seize upon Fife, give to the edge o’ the sword / His
wife, his babes, and all unfortunate souls / That trace
him in his line” (4.1.151-153). Macbeth’s quick
temper, and consuming paranoia finally entrap him and
diminish his conscience that had once been so strong.
His desire for power causes him to do whatever he feels
is necessary to keep his position.
Shakespeare’s Conception of Moral Order in
Macbeth’s “Tomorrow and tomorrow” soliloquy
must cause him to recognize how he has
undone himself and the world, how he has
unmade his life, reducing it to no more than
a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more … a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing. (5.5.24-28)
What finally raises Macbeth to the level of a
tragic figure is his recognition not so much
of what he has done, but of what he has
undone: honor, love, obedience.
When Macbeth expresses reluctance to
proceed with the murder, Lady Macbeth’s
response is:
From this time
Such I account thy love. Art thou afeard
To be the same in thine own act and valor
As thou art in desire? (I.7.38-41)
Lady Macbeth proceeds through the use of
language that is implicitly sexual to taunt
her husband into committing the murder,
for her goal is Macbeth’s arousal to a state
in which he will “bend up / Each corporal
agent to this terrible fear” (1.7.80).
The Subversive Metaphysics of Macbeth
The first report of the battle is balanced, as
the sergeant compares the two armies to
“two spent swimmers, that to cling
together / And choke their art” (1.2.8-9).
Blended Quotations
• It is conventional to write about literature in
the present tense, so you have to be
careful about weaving quotations into your
own text.
• Always write a lead-in or introduction to
your quotations.
• In a literary analysis, the lead-in often
highlights the significance of the quote you
are using to support your interpretation.
• Don't confuse the author with the narrator
of a story or a character in the story. If you
are quoting the words of a character, you
should name the character who is
speaking and provide a context for the
spoken words.
• Don't just dump a quote into your paper
without some kind of lead-in.
• Blended quotations (grammatically
incorporated in your sentence)
Example 1: (from Homer’s Odyssey)
For example, when Odysseus first
encounters Nausikaa, the narrator shows
how thoughtful the hero is while "debating
inwardly what he should do" (151).
[Notice that you close your sentence with a
period after the parenthetical citation of book
and line number. If there is a period, semicolon, or colon at the end of the quoted
material, you must leave it out.]
• Example 2
• For example, when Odysseus wishes
Nausikaa a happy marriage, he offers a
glimpse of his ideal of marriage, which
includes "a home, a husband, and
harmonious / converse with him" (193-94).
In addition, we know that this represents
his ideal because he describes "a strong
house held in serenity / where man and
wife agree" (194-95).
[Notice the use of the front slash / to separate
two lines of verse in an embedded quotation.]
• Note that the particular verb you choose helps
orient your reader toward your opinion of the
Are the following statements positive, negative,
or neutral
"Jones says" is
"Jones informs us" is
"Jones alleges" is somewhat
Other verbs to choose from include:
informs us
Use brackets to set off changes within a
quotation. You may need to clarify the
reference of a pronoun or add a word to fit
a quotation into your sentence:
For example, Polonius suspiciously warns
his daughter, "Do not believe his
[Hamlet's] vows" (1.3.127).
For Robert Frost, the "Two roads [that]
diverged in a yellow wood" are symbolic.
Use an ellipsis { ... } to indicate deleted
Dickinson says the funeral service was “like
a Drum / ... / My mind was going numb” (6-8).
Do not use the ellipsis at the beginning or end of the
A Service, like a Drum –
Kept beating – beating – till I thought
“… like a Drum / Kept beating – beating …”
Student Samples
Original: Auden’s poem shows an example of how
people were in despair during Hilter’s power “Faces
along the bar/Cling to their average day/The lights must
never go out/The music must always play” (45-48).
Revised: For example, Auden’s poem shows how
people living under Hitler’s reign dealt with despair,
sitting with “Faces along the bar / Cling[ing] to their
average day” and professing that “The lights must
never go out/The music must always play” (45-48).
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