Good Angel Bad Angel / Myths and Religion

  • This trope originates with Greek mythology, wherein each mortal has a pair of spirits, which are aspects of themselves, and represent good and evil and actually sit on the character's shoulders. The angel/devil interpretation, however, according to The Other Wiki, originated with Islam in the form of kiraman katibin (literally, "honorable recorders"-their job is to write down a person's good and evil thoughts and deeds).
  • The myth of Hercules at the crossroads is a pre-Christian version of the scenario in which the hero makes a choice between Anthropomorphic Personifications of vice and virtue.
  • The earliest mention of the concept in Christian Literature is in the 1st or 2nd century apocrypha "The Shepherd of Hermas". A whole chapter discusses "the two angels that accompany the man : the Angel of Justice and the Angel of Sin".
  • Judaism has the concept of yetzer (ha)tov, or "good inclination," and yetzer (ha)ra, or "evil inclination."
  • An anecdote often attributed (falsely) to Native American legend says everyone has a good wolf and an evil wolf battling in his or her heart. The winner will be the wolf that the person feeds.