What if the Four Emperors represent the tests of heart, body, mind and soul on Luffy’s quest to find One Piece?
In this scenario then, Big Mom would represent the test of soul since she has acquired the powers of the Soru Soru no Mi after the death of its previous owner, Carmel, a Paramecia-type Devil Fruit that allows her to freely interact with and manipulate souls.
Kaido would represent the test of body since he’s renowned as the “Strongest Creature in the World”.
Blackbeard would represent the test of heart in fact a lot of people speculated that he ate Whitebeard’s heart (I have a feeling Oda might have drawn on some tribal customs, where eating the heart of a defeated foe grants you their strength).
Finally Shanks would represent the test of mind. Shanks would also be the hardest test – not only because of prior associations, but also because say what you like, actual planning and strategising just isn’t Luffy’s thing…
*Theory by Adingding90