Talk:Mortal coil

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Is the "Cultural references" section a complete waste?Lestrade (talk) 23:16, 11 May 2009 (UTC)Lestrade

  • In a word, yes. See Wikipedia:"In popular culture" content. Unfortunately, that policy waffles to such an extent that I don't feel ready to simply trash this section, though I do think that's what it deserves. -- Mwanner | Talk 13:20, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
It takes up an inordinate amount of space and does not contribute to an explanation of the concept. It seems to be a list of erroneous applications of the word as a result of its being an unusual catchy phrase.Lestrade (talk) 19:04, 4 May 2011 (UTC)Lestrade
  • Also the Monty Python reference is wrong, mortal coil is never mentioned, but dozens of other "dead" adjectives are. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:47, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

Three years later, I have just removed this section - it really didn't seem to tell the reader anything other than "look at all these authors, songwriters and TV scriptwriters who knew this particular Shakespeare quote, and used it once". --McGeddon (talk) 21:09, 25 November 2012 (UTC)

•Here's a link to the edit, if anyone is curious to see the aforementioned (and I agree, rather a waste): [Revision as of 20:56, 25 November 2012] (talk) 03:54, 31 July 2014 (UTC)

↔ thoughts: another possible interpretation of the etymological origins of 'mortal coil' involves the ancient Egyptian mythology of the afterlife, specifically MehenMehen as symbolic representation of time and/or (im)mortality. Related, and quite possibly originating from Egyptian sources, concepts such as the fates and their coiling thread of life, the coiling Ouroboros snake, and the double-helix-coiling Caduceus all seem to be connoted by this phrase, especially in the context of Elizabethan classicism and Shakespearean wordplay. I'm not sure how or if these possible connections should be included in this article. HysteryMouse (talk) 12:43, 14 December 2013 (UTC)

Schopenhauer wrote in German[edit]

I doubt he was speculating about Elizabethan English usages. In any case, here is the something-like-cited text Parerga und Paralipomena Volume 2, § 232a, (talk) 21:41, 22 May 2016 (UTC)

The following has been copied from the Talk Page for User Lestrade: Schopenhauer began § 232a with a reference to Shakespeare’s Hamlet. “The story in Apuleius, of the widow with a vision of her husband who had been murdered at the chase, is wholly analogous to that of Hamlet.” In Apuleis’s Metamorphoses, or The Golden Ass, Book 8, 1-14, Charite’s husband appears to her in a dream and tells her that her suitor Thrasyllus killed him and arranged the murder to look like a hunting accident. Schopenhauer then added: “Here I would like to insert a conjecture concerning Shakespeare’s masterpiece. It is, of course, very bold, yet I would like to submit it to the judgment of those who really know. In the famous monologue: ‘To be or not to be,’ we have the words: ‘when we have shuffled off this mortal coil,’ which have always been considered obscure and even puzzling, and yet have never been thoroughly explained. Should there not have been originally ‘shuttled off’? This verb itself no longer exists, but ‘shuttle’ is an implement used in weaving. Accordingly, the meaning might be: ‘when we have unwound and worked off this coil of mortality.’ A slip of the pen could easily have occurred.” Your Google Books citation does not include § 232a. It goes from § 232 to § 233, skipping §232a. I do not know why § 232a is not included in the German-language editions of Parerga and Paralipomena, Volume 2, that are found on the Internet. My copy of the book is published by Suhrkamp Taschenbuch Wissenschaft and it contains § 232a. The German version is: “Sei hier einer das Meisterstück des Shakespeare betreffenden Konjektur eine Stelle gegönnt, welche zwar sehr kühn ist, die ich jedoch dem Urteil der wirklichen Kenner vorlegen möchte. In den berühmten Monolog ‘To be, or not to be’ ist der Ausdruck: ‘When we have shuffled off this mortal coil’ stets dunkel und sogar rätselhaft befunden und nie ganz aufs reine gebracht worden. Sollte nicht ursprünglich gestanden haben: ‘shuttled off’? Dies Verbum selbst existiert nicht mehr; aber ‘shuttle’ heißt ‘das Weberschiffchen’ und ‘coil’ ein ‘Knäuel,’ wonach der Sinn wäre: ‘Wenn wir diesen Knäuel der Sterblichkeit abgewickelt, abgearbeitet haben.’ Der Schreibfehler konnte leicht entstehn."Lestrade (talk) 01:40, 30 May 2016 (UTC)Lestrade

Hysteron proteron[edit]

Did the supposed meaning of “coil” as “noisy disturbance, fuss, ado” exist before Shakespeare allegedly use it as such, or did it acquire that meaning as a result of his use? (talk) 01:27, 16 July 2016 (UTC)Hans Wurst