What Does Hamlet Mean By Shuffled Off This Mortal Coil?

In William Shakespeare’s play “Hamlet,” the phrase “shuffled off this mortal coil” is used to refer to death. In Act III, Scene 1, Hamlet is speaking to Horatio about the death of his father, King Hamlet, and he expresses his contemplation of the unknown that lies beyond death. The phrase is a metaphor for the shedding of one’s physical body, and it has since become a commonly used expression to refer to death. It speaks to the human fear of the unknown and the desire to understand the meaning of life and death, and it serves as a reminder of our own mortality and the fleeting nature of our existence.


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