Why has this theme remained popular since 1587? This theme is selling your soul to the devil. The basis of this story is a man that grew up in a Christian family makes a deal with the devil giving him special powers. According to Wikipedia, “Doctor Faustus (play) The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus, commonly referred to simply as Doctor Faustus, is an Elizabethan tragedy by Christopher Marlowe, based on German stories about the title character Faust. It was probably written in 1592 or 1593, shortly before Marlowe’s death.”
According to Faust.com “Using Mephistophilis as a messenger, Faustus strikes a deal with Lucifer: that he is to be allotted twenty-four years of life on Earth, during which time he will have Mephistophilis as his personal servant, and, at the end of which, he will give his soul over to Lucifer as payment and spend the rest of time as one of the damned in hell. This deal is supposed to be cemented in the form of Faustus’ own blood. Interestingly, at first his blood congeals, leading to second thoughts by Faustus. Mephistophilis brings coals to break the wound open again, and thus Mephistophilis begins his servitude and Faustus his oath.” For twenty-four years Faustus does evil things and at the end of these years Nobody had seen Faustus for a while so they looked for him in his house and found blood and body parts scattered across a room.
Why has this theme remained popular since 1587? People like horror and selling your soul to the devil defiantly sounds like something that people would want to watch.