Deal With The Devil: Theatre

  • Doctor Faustus names tropes to do with dealing with the devil.
  • A deal with the devil is commonly used in pantomimes. A naive character (AKA: village idiot) is commonly corrupted by the villain with the promise of riches and power. This either leads to the villain holding him to ransom or the naive character returning in the second half hypnotised.
  • "You eat blood, Audrey II, let's face it. How am I going to keep on feeding you, kill people?" "I'll make it worth your while..."
  • Hertzog, from The Black Crook, made a deal with the devil, who is referred to as Zamiel. In exchange for immortality, Hertzog must give Zamiel a fresh soul every New Year's Eve.
  • Discussed in Robert Bolt's A Man for All Seasons, when Sir Thomas More tells Richard Rich (who had perjured himself, betraying More's trust, leading to More's arrest and Rich's promotion to Attorney General for Wales), "Why, Richard, it profits a man nothing to his soul for the whole world...but for Wales?"
  • Bolt also explores this in his lesser-known Gentle Jack, which features a meek office worker given supernatural powers by Jack, a Pan-like deity. The protagonist is initially thrilled, using his powers to help his friends and coworkers, but reneges when Jack demands that he kill someone to keep the powers forever.
  • In Damn Yankees, aging Washington Senators fan Joe Boyd declares that he'd sell his soul to get his team to defeat the New York Yankees. Suddenly, a mysterious gentleman named Applegate appears to make him the living embodiment of his wish. The deal is concluded just with handshakes; Applegate calls signing in blood a "phony stunt." Lola, a seductive servant of the devil's, is later revealed to have made a similar deal in life; she was ugly and sold her soul for beauty. Interestingly, the devil ends up voiding his own deal with Joe, in a last-ditch attempt to keep the Senators from winning the pennant.
  • In Twice Charmed, this is what the deal with Franco boils down to. He'll send the Tremaines back in time, but if they fail, they'll be cursed forever.