A deal with the devil (also known as compact or pact with the devil) is a cultural motif, best exemplified by the legend of Faust and the figure of Mephistopheles, as well as being elemental to many Christian traditions. According to traditional Christian belief about witchcraft, the pact is between a person and Satan or a lesser demon. The person offers their soul in exchange for diabolical favours. Those favours vary by the tale, but tend to include youth, knowledge, wealth, fame, or power.
It was also believed that some people 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. 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 (e.g., man sells his soul for eternal life because he will never die to pay his end of the bargain. Immune to the death penalty, he commits murder, but is sentenced to life in prison).
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.
It was usually thought that the person who had made a pact also promised the demon to kill children or consecrate them to the devil at the moment of birth (many midwives were accused of this, due to the number of children who died at birth in the Middle Ages and Renaissance), take part in Witches Sabbaths, have sexual relations with demons, and sometimes engender children from a succubus, or an incubus in the case of women.
The pact can be oral or written. An oral pact is made by means of invocations, conjurations, or rituals to attract the demon; once the conjurer thinks the demon is present, he/she asks for the wanted favour and offers his/her soul in exchange, and no evidence is left of the pact; but according to some witch trials and inquisitions that were performed, even the oral pact left evidence, namely the diabolical mark, an indelible mark where the marked person had been touched by the devil to seal the pact. The mark could be used as a proof to determine that the pact was made. It was also believed that on the spot where the mark was left, the marked person could feel no pain. A written pact consists in the same forms of attracting the demon, but includes a written act, usually signed with the conjurer's blood (although sometimes was also alleged that the whole act had to be written with blood, meanwhile some demonologists defended the idea of using red ink instead of blood and others suggested the use of animal blood instead of human blood). Forms of these include contracts or simply signing your name into Satan's Red Book.
These acts were presented often as a proof of diabolical pacts, though critics claim there is no proof of whether they were authentic, written by insane persons believing they were actually dealing with a demon, or just were fake acts presented by the tribunals of the Inquisition. Usually the acts included strange characters that were said to be the signature of a demon, and each one had his own signature or seal. Books like The Lesser Key of Solomon (also known as Lemegeton Clavicula Salomonis) give a detailed list of these signs, known as diabolical signatures.
The Malleus Maleficarum discusses several alleged instances of pacts with the Devil, especially concerning women. It was considered that all witches and warlocks had made a pact with some demon, especially with Satan.
According to demonology, there is a specific month, day of the week, and hour to call each demon, so the invocation for a pact has to be done at the right time. Also, as each demon has a specific function, a certain demon is invoked depending on what the conjurer is going to ask.
In the narrative of the Synoptic Gospels, Jesus is offered a series of bargains by the devil, in which he is promised worldly riches and glory in exchange for serving the devil rather than God. After Jesus rejects the devil's offers, he embarks on his travels as the Messiah (see Temptations of Christ).
The predecessor of Faustus in Christian mythology is Theophilus ("Friend of God" or "Beloved of God") the unhappy and despairing cleric, disappointed in his worldly career by his bishop, who sells his soul to the devil but is redeemed by the Virgin Mary. His story appears in a Greek version of the sixth century written by a "Eutychianus" who claims to have been a member of the household in question.
A ninth-century Miraculum Sancte Marie de Theophilo penitente inserts a Virgin as intermediary with diabolus, his "patron", providing the prototype of a closely linked series in the Latin literature of the West.
In the tenth century, the poet nun Hroswitha of Gandersheim adapted the text of Paulus Diaconus for a narrative poem that elaborates Theophilus' essential goodness and internalizes the seduction of good and evil, in which the devil is magus, a necromancer. As in her model, Theophilus receives back his contract from the devil, displays it to the congregation, and soon dies.
A long poem on the subject by Gautier de Coincy (1177/8–1236), entitled Le miracle de Théophile: ou comment Théophile vint à la pénitence provided material for a thirteenth-century play by Rutebeuf, Le Miracle de Théophile, where Theophilus is the central pivot in a frieze of five characters, the Virgin and the bishop flanking him on the side of good, the Jew and the devil on the side of evil.
The term "a pact with the devil" is also used metaphorically to condemn a person or persons perceived as having collaborated with an evil person or regime. An example of this is the Nazi-Jewish negotiations during the Holocaust, both positively and negatively. Under Jewish law, the principle of pikuach nefesh ("saving life") is an obligation to compromise one's principles in order to preserve human life. However, Rudolf Kastner was accused of negotiating with the Nazis to save a select few at the expense of the many. According to some, the term served to inflame public hatred against Kastner, culminating in his assassination.
Angel of Retribution is the fifteenth studio album by British heavy metal band Judas Priest, released in 2005. It is the band's first album since 1990's Painkiller to feature Rob Halford. The album debuted at No. 13 on the US Billboard 200 chart, which makes it the fourth highest chart of a Judas Priest album (the third being Nostradamus, the second being Redeemer of Souls and the highest being Firepower). The album was produced by Roy Z, who co-wrote the song "Deal with the Devil". It won a 2005 Metal Hammer award for Best Album. In the 2005 Burrn! magazine Readers' Pop Poll, it was voted Best Album of the Year and Best Album Cover.Bearskin (German fairy tale)
"Bearskin" (German: Der Bärenhäuter) is a fairy tale collected by the Brothers Grimm, as tale no. 101. A variant from Sicily, Don Giovanni de la Fortuna, was collected by Laura Gonzenbach in Sicilianische Märchen and included by Andrew Lang in The Pink Fairy Book. Italo Calvino included another Italian version, The Devil's Breeches from Bologna, in his Italian Folktales.It is Aarne–Thompson type 361, Bearskin, in which a man gains a fortune and a beautiful bride by entering into a pact with the devil.Chasse-galerie
La Chasse-galerie also known as "The Bewitched Canoe" or "The Flying Canoe" is a popular French-Canadian tale of Coureurs des bois who make a deal with the devil, a variant of the Wild Hunt. Its best-known version was written by Honoré Beaugrand (1848–1906). It was published in The Century Magazine in August 1892.Cuphead
Cuphead is a run and gun indie video game developed and published by StudioMDHR. First announced in 2014, the game was released for Microsoft Windows and Xbox One in September 2017, and for macOS in October 2018, with a port for Nintendo Switch to be released in April 2019. The game was inspired by the rubber hose style of animation used in cartoons of the 1930s, such as the work of studios Fleischer and Walt Disney Animation, seeking to emulate their subversive and surrealist qualities.
Cuphead features one or two players taking control of animated characters Cuphead and his brother Mugman to fight through several levels that culminate in boss fights as to repay their debt to the devil. The game was praised for its art style and noted for its challenging difficulty; it was both a critical and commercial success, selling over three million copies by August 2018. The game won several awards and accolades for its art, animation, and music.Deal with the Devil (Pop Evil song)
"Deal with the Devil " is the second single from Onyx and is the eleventh single overall from American rock band Pop Evil. The video, which was directed by Johan Carlén, is the second part of a trilogy that is being presented in reverse. The song became the band's second number-one single, following their previous single "Trenches".Deal with the Devil (album)
Deal with the Devil is the fifth studio album by the American heavy metal band Lizzy Borden released in 2000.
A return to form, featuring a cover by Todd McFarlane.
Two covers were recorded. "(This Ain't) The Summer Of Love" is originally by Blue Öyster Cult and "Generation Landslide" by Alice Cooper.
The Japanese version includes a cover of Scorpions' "We'll Burn the Sky" as a bonus track.Deal with the Devil (disambiguation)
Deal with the Devil is a cultural motif elemental to many Christian folktales.
Deal with the Devil may also refer to:
Deal with the Devil (album), an album by Lizzy Borden, or the title song
Deal with the Devil (Pop Evil song)
"Deal with the Devil", a song by Judas Priest from Angel of Retribution
"Deal with the Devil", a song by Dale Watson from the 2001 album Every Song I Write is for YouDeals with the Devil in popular culture
The idea of making a deal with the Devil has appeared many times in works of popular culture.
The theme enjoyed a large run of popularity in the twentieth century. At one point Anthony Boucher, editor of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, "reported that fully 50 percent of his unsolicited submissions consisted of deal-with-the-Devil stories or "formalities of the hereafter", which as often as not involved the Devil".Familiar spirit
In European folklore and folk-belief of the Medieval and Early Modern periods, familiar spirits (sometimes referred to simply as "familiars" or "animal guides") were believed to be supernatural entities that would assist witches and cunning folk in their practice of magic. According to the records of the time, they would appear in numerous guises, often as an animal, but also at times as a human or humanoid figure, and were described as "clearly defined, three-dimensional… forms, vivid with colour and animated with movement and sound" by those alleging to have come into contact with them, unlike later descriptions of ghosts with their "smoky, undefined form[s]".When they served witches, they were often thought to be malevolent, while when working for cunning folk they were often thought of as benevolent (although there was some ambiguity in both cases). The former were often categorised as demons, while the latter were more commonly thought of and described as fairies. The main purpose of familiars is to serve the witch or young witch, providing protection for them as they come into their new powers.Since the 20th century a number of magical practitioners, including adherents of the Neopagan religion of Wicca, have begun to use the concept of familiars, due to their association with older forms of magic. These contemporary practitioners utilize pets, wildlife or believe that invisible spirit versions of familiars act as magical aids.Faust
Faust is the protagonist of a classic German legend, based on the historical Johann Georg Faust (c. 1480–1540).
The erudite Faust is highly successful yet dissatisfied with his life, which leads him to make a pact with the Devil, exchanging his soul for unlimited knowledge and worldly pleasures. The Faust legend has been the basis for many literary, artistic, cinematic, and musical works that have reinterpreted it through the ages. "Faust" and the adjective
"Faustian" imply a situation in which an ambitious person surrenders moral integrity in order to achieve power and success for a delimited term.The Faust of early books—as well as the ballads, dramas, movies, and puppet-plays which grew out of them—is irrevocably damned because he prefers human to divine knowledge; "he laid the Holy Scriptures behind the door and under the bench, refused to be called doctor of Theology, but preferred to be styled doctor of Medicine". Plays and comic puppet theatre loosely based on this legend were popular throughout Germany in the 16th century, often reducing Faust and Mephistopheles to figures of vulgar fun. The story was popularised in England by Christopher Marlowe, who gave it a classic treatment in his play, The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus (whose date of publication is debated, but likely around 1587). In Goethe's reworking of the story two hundred years later, Faust becomes a dissatisfied intellectual who yearns for "more than earthly meat and drink" in his life.Gimme (Alice Cooper song)
"Gimme" is a single by rock singer Alice Cooper, released in 2000.
The song appeared on Cooper's album Brutal Planet, and was its first and only single. While its highest chart position was only 103 in the UK, the music video was aired several times. The song was written by Cooper and Bob Marlette.
The song is about a deal with the Devil, sung from the point of view of Satan. This is a recurring theme for Cooper, and a motif he uses in songs like "I'm The Coolest" from 1976's Alice Cooper Goes to Hell and "I Just Wanna Be God" on Dragontown, the follow-up album to Brutal Planet. The lyrics also make a reference to "Nothing's Free" from The Last Temptation, another song with the same theme.Johann Georg Faust
Johann Georg Faust (; c. 1480 or 1466 – c. 1541), also known in English as John Faustus , was an itinerant alchemist, astrologer and magician of the German Renaissance.
Doctor Faust became the subject of folk legend in the decades after his death, transmitted in chapbooks beginning in the 1580s, and was notably adapted by Christopher Marlowe in his play The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus (1604). The Faustbuch tradition survived throughout the early modern period, and the legend was again adapted in Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's closet drama Faust (1808), and Hector Berlioz's musical composition La damnation de Faust (premiered 1846).L'Histoire du soldat
L'Histoire du soldat (The Soldier's Tale) is a theatrical work "to be read, played, and danced" (lue, jouée et dansée) by three actors and one or several dancers, accompanied by a septet of instruments. The piece was conceived by Igor Stravinsky and Swiss writer C. F. Ramuz based on a Russian folk tale (The Runaway Soldier and the Devil) drawn from the collection of Alexander Afanasyev.The libretto relates the parable of a soldier who trades his fiddle to the devil in return for unlimited economic gain. The music is scored for a septet of violin, double bass, clarinet, bassoon, cornet (often played on trumpet), trombone, and percussion, and the story is told by three actors: the soldier, the devil, and a narrator, who also takes on the roles of minor characters. A dancer plays the non-speaking role of the princess, and there may also be additional ensemble dancers.
The original French text by Ramuz has been translated into English by Michael Flanders and Kitty Black, and into German by Hans Reinhart.A full performance of L'Histoire du soldat takes about an hour.
The music is rife with changing time signatures. For this reason, it is commonly performed with a conductor, though some ensembles have elected to perform the piece without one. The work was premiered in Lausanne on 28 September 1918, conducted by Ernest Ansermet. The British conductor Edward Clark was a friend and champion of Stravinsky and a former assistant conductor to Ansermet at the Ballets Russes. He conducted the British premiere of L'Histoire du soldat in 1926 in Newcastle upon Tyne, and gave three further fully staged performances in London in July 1927.Stravinsky was assisted greatly in the production of the work by the Swiss philanthropist Werner Reinhart. Reinhart sponsored and largely underwrote the premiere. In gratitude, Stravinsky dedicated the work to Reinhart, and gave him the original manuscript. Reinhart continued his support of Stravinsky's work in 1919 by funding a series of concerts of his recent chamber music. These included a concert suite of five numbers from The Soldier's Tale, arranged for clarinet, violin, and piano, which was a nod to Reinhart, who was regarded as an excellent amateur clarinetist. The suite was first performed on 8 November 1919, in Lausanne, long before the better-known suite for the seven original performers became known.Mephistopheles
Mephistopheles (, German pronunciation: [mefɪˈstoːfɛlɛs]; also Mephistophilus, Mephostopheles, Mephistophilis, Mephisto, Mephastophilis, and other variants) is a demon featured in German folklore. He originally appeared in literature as the demon in the Faust legend, and he has since appeared in other works as a stock character (see: Mephistopheles in popular culture).Murdoc Niccals
Murdoc Faust Niccals (born Murdoc Alphonce Niccals) is the fictional bassist for the virtual band Gorillaz. He is voiced by Phil Cornwell, and was created by Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett.
In the Gorillaz universe, Murdoc was responsible for most of the conception and formation of the band, and is angry that 2-D, the fictional vocalist and pianist for the band, is the frontman. Aspects of Murdoc's appearance and personality were based on that of a young Keith Richards. Murdoc's fictional biography is filled with references to Satanism, such as his birthday being on 6/6/66, and that to become a famous musician Murdoc did a deal with the Devil - that led him to change his middle name to Faust - who provided Murdoc with his own bass guitar, El Diablo.At the Brit Awards 2018, Murdoc was incarcerated. He was not involved in Gorillaz sixth album, The Now Now, and was temporarily replaced by Ace, leader of The Ganggreen Gang from The Powerpuff Girls. From 4 June to 26 October 2018, the band ran a bi-weekly text-adventure ARG called Free Murdoc, in which the player assists Murdoc as he attempts to escape from prison. Murdoc was reunited with the band on 20 September, in time to join them on the final leg of The Now Now Tour. Murdoc is featured in Mission 101, a monthly web-series produced by Gorillaz in late 2018 to promote their limited edition line of G-Shock watches.Pan Twardowski
Pan Twardowski (Polish pronunciation: [ˈpan tfarˈdɔfski]), in Polish folklore and literature, is a sorcerer who made a deal with the Devil. Pan Twardowski sold his soul in exchange for special powers – such as summoning up the spirit of Polish King Sigismund Augustus' deceased wife – but he eventually met a tragic fate. The tale of Pan Twardowski exists in various diverging versions and forms the basis for many works of fiction, including one by Adam Mickiewicz.Rumpelstiltskin
Rumpelstiltskin is a fairytale popularly associated with Germany (where he is known as Rumpelstilzchen). The tale was one collected by the Brothers Grimm in the 1812 edition of Children's and Household Tales. According to researchers at Durham University and the Universidade Nova de Lisboa, the story originated around 4,000 years ago. However, many biases lead us to take the results of this study with caution.The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant
The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant is a 1954 novel by Douglass Wallop. It adapts the Faust theme of a deal with the Devil to the world of American baseball in the 1950s.Theophilus of Adana
Saint Theophilus the Penitent or Theophilus of Adana (died c. 538 AD) was a cleric in the sixth century Church who is said to have made a deal with the Devil to gain an ecclesiastical position. His story is significant as it is the oldest story of a pact with the devil and was an inspiration for the Faust legend. His feast day is February 4.
Eutychianus of Adana, who claimed to be an eyewitness of the events, is the first to record Theophilus's story. Although Theophilus is considered to be an historical personage, the tale associated with him is of an apocryphal nature.