11 Facts About Deal With the Devil


A deal with the devil, compact or pact with the devil is a cultural motif, best exemplified by the legend of Faust and the figure of Mephistopheles, but elemental to many Christian folktales.

A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.

The Devil is, according to Christianity, the primary opponent of God.

Faustus are a three-piece folk music band based in the UK.

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According to traditional Christian belief about witchcraft, the pact is between a person and Satan or a lesser demon.

Witchcraft broadly means the practice of, and belief in, magical skills and abilities that are able to be exercised by individuals and certain social groups.

Satan is a figure appearing in the texts of the Abrahamic religions who brings evil and temptation, and is known as the deceiver who leads humanity astray.

A demon is a supernatural and often malevolent being prevalent in religion, occultism, literature, fiction, mythology and folklore.

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The person offers his or her soul in exchange for diabolical favours.

In many religious, philosophical and mythological traditions, the soul is the incorporeal essence of a living being.


Those favours vary by the tale, but tend to include youth, knowledge, wealth, fame, or power.


It was also believed that some persons made this type of pact just as a sign of recognizing the devil as their master, in exchange for nothing.


Nevertheless, the bargain is considered a dangerous one, as the price of the Fiend's service is the wagerer's soul.


The tale may have a moralizing end, with eternal damnation for the foolhardy venturer.

Damnation is the concept of divine punishment and torment in an afterlife for actions that were committed on Earth.


Conversely, it may have a comic twist, in which a wily peasant outwits the devil, characteristically on a technical point.


The person making the pact sometimes tries to outwit the devil, but loses in the end.


Great achievements might be credited to a pact with the devil, from the numerous European Devil's Bridges to the violin virtuosity of Niccolò Paganini to the "crossroad" myth associated with Robert Johnson.

Devil’s Bridge is a term applied to dozens of ancient bridges, found primarily in Europe.

Niccolò Paganini was an Italian violinist, violist, guitarist, and composer.

Robert Leroy Johnson was an American blues singer-songwriter and musician.


The "Bargain with the devil" constitutes motif number M210 and "Man sells soul to devil" motif number M211 in Stith Thompson's Motif-Index of Folk-Literature.

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