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Faust

The protagonist of a German folk tale who makes a deal with the demon Mephistopheles for knowledge and power beyond the earthly realm. In exchange, he has to give up his soul when he dies.

In the story he uses his powers to seduce a young innocent girl, Gretchen, whose life he ruins. Ultimately Gretchen is killed but her pure soul is accepted into heaven. In Goethe's popularized version of the tale, Faust's soul is saved when he dies by angels, who have seen Faust's attempts to do good in the world.

The adjective 'Faustian' is sometimes used to refer to a deal that has heavy consequences for one side.

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