I'm writing an essay for the play Waiting for Godot, and there is a passage I want to use:

ESTRAGON: (very insidious). But what about Saturday? And is it Saturday? Is it not rather Sunday? (Pause.) Or Monday? (Pause.) Or Friday?

To express the dislocation of time in the play, I want to quote the passage starting from 'Saturday;' but I don't know whether I'm allowed to replace the question marks with commas, as that would make the passage fit with my sentence.

I want to try to avoid quoting only the days with commas, because it feels detached and somewhat useless to reference each day with a separate quote, like "Monday" and "Tuesday" and "Wednesday," at least to me.

Am I allowed to change question mark punctuation when referencing MLA, or must I find another way around it?

1 Answer 1


Citing the GCMS High School Media Center (highlighted by me)

Changes must not be made in the spelling, capitalization, or punctuation of the quote.

So it looks like you have to find another way.

  • 3
    You would do better to quote in full, and then paraphrase if you need to bring out a specific interpretation. Then again, you might be able to use "to paraphrase Estragon ....", making it clear that you are reworking the passage. May 18, 2012 at 12:59

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