* OlderThanFeudalism: The [[Literature/TheBible Book of Job]] is one long tale of horrible misfortunes that beset a decent, pious man because God and the devil made a bet on whether he could be broken. He ''did'' break, but not quite as far as the Devil wanted him to. Satan's goal was for him to [[DespairEventHorizon give up on life, curse God and just sorta stop living]], as a subtextual request for a mercy-killing (or as his wife puts it, "Why don't you just curse God and die?"); he settles for cursing his own existence.
* Echo in the Greek Myths was initially a funny, witty, spirited nymph known for her entertaining and humorous stories, and her talent for music. When one of the said stories distracts Hera from avenging a different nymph having an affair with Zeus, Hera takes away Echo's voice. Subsequently, she falls in UnrequitedLove with Narcissus, and spends the rest of her life pining away for him. In some versions, she is the victim of an AttemptedRape and successful Murder by the repulsive woodland god Pan.
* Literature/TheLittleMermaid of the HansChristianAndersen Fairy Tale is a related example. She is beautiful, innocent, and fascinated by the Human World, which she considers genuinely superior to the world under the sea. She strives to be a part of it, [[DealWithTheDevil trading her voice to the Sea Witch]] for a pair of legs that make it feel like she is walking on knives, and things do not end well for her, though the FairyTale ends on a hopeful, Bittersweet note.