Hell

In many mythological, folklore and religious traditions, hell is a place of eternal suffering and punishment in an afterlife, often after resurrection. Religions with a linear divine history often depict hells as endless. Religions with a cyclic history often depict a hell as an intermediary period between incarnations. Typically these traditions locate hell under the Earth's external surface and often include entrances to Hell from the land of the living. Other afterlife destinations include Heaven, Purgatory, Paradise, and Limbo.

Other traditions, which do not conceive of the afterlife as a place of punishment or reward, merely describe hell as an abode of the dead, a neutral place located under the surface of Earth (for example, see sheol and Hades). Modern understandings of hells often depict them abstractly, as a state of loss rather than as fiery torture literally underground, but this view of the concept of a hell can, in fact, be traced back into the ancient and medieval periods as well. Hell is sometimes portrayed as populated with demons who torment those dwelling there. Many are ruled by a death god such as Nergal, Hades, Hel, Enma or the Devil.

Read more about HellEtymology and Germanic Mythology, Religion, Mythology, and Folklore, Literature

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Famous quotes containing the word hell:

    To rest, the cushion and soft dean invite,
    Who never mentions hell to ears polite.
    Alexander Pope (1688–1744)

    Not in the legions
    Of horrid hell can come a devil more damned
    To top Macbeth.
    William Shakespeare (1564–1616)

    Tyranny destroys or strengthens the individual; freedom enervates him, until he becomes no more than a puppet. Man has more chances of saving himself by hell than by paradise.
    E.M. Cioran (b. 1911)