No Exit is a play by French existentialist philosopher and author Jean-Paul Sartre that was first performed in Paris in May 1944, just prior to the liberation of the city from German occupation in World War II. The drama, which is set in a room in hell, essentially serves as a backdrop for an exploration of Sartre’s philosophical themes—notably the objectifying gaze of the other, self-deception, bad faith, and issues surrounding human freedom and responsibility. Without question No Exit was influenced by the political realities of the time, and some have even argued that the setting in hell is a metaphor for the Nazi occupation of Paris.


Read our scene-by-scene Summary & Analysis, the Full Play Summary, or the Full Play Analysis of No Exit.


See a complete list of the characters in No Exit.

Deeper Study

Go further in your study of No Exit by reading background information about Jean-Paul Sartre and his play as well as mini essays on key topics.