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.
Famous quotes containing the word hell:
“Zorba: Why do the young die? Why does anybody die?
Basil: I dont know.
Zorba: Whats the use of all your damn books? If they dont tell you that, what the hell do they tell you?
Basil: They tell me about the agony of men who cant answer questions like yours.
I spit on their agony.”
—Michael Cacoyannis (b. 1922)
“There is no dignity in wickedness, whether in purple or rags; and hell is a democracy of devils, where all are equals.”
—Herman Melville (18191891)
“The safest road to Hell is the gradual onethe gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.”
—C.S. (Clive Staples)