What Sartre Meant by “Hell is Other People”

January 22, 2017

“Hell is Other People.”  That’s actually a famous line from French philosopher Jean Paul Sartre’s 1944 play, “No Exit.”   In the play, three characters arrive in Hell.  They’re expecting flames and pitchforks, but instead they’re shown into a plain ordinary room – and then gradually discover that this is where they’ll be spending eternity.  Alone, together.  Which is where that famous line comes in.  

You can interpret it in a lot of different ways, philosopher Gregory Sadler has a fascinating take.