Hell is Empty
"Hell is empty, and all the devils are here." - William Shakespeare
This line kicks off the second scene of The Tempest. Stunned by the fury of Prospero’s supernatural storm, a horrified Ferdinand leaps into the sea while shouting this zinger (delivered via the spirit Ariel).
We know he meant "devils" literally. But we thought about the ways in which everyday tribulations feel like proverbial hell (think Sartre's famous line "Hell is other people").
Musing about how humans immiserate each other (and the tragedy of the commons and all that) finally brought us to the perfect metaphor for endless suffering. Ladies and gentlemen, we submit for your consideration: the humble traffic jam.
In our illustration, a seemingly endless line of cars winds its way along a devil's tail. The point of the tail directs you to your final destination: here.
That's hellish torture.
Except in Northern New Jersey where it's just called "Wednesday."