What Sartre Meant by “Hell is Other People”

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“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.