Goethe's Faust complicates the simple Christian moral of the original legend.
Mephisto overcomes Faust's reluctance to sign a long binding pact with the invitation that Faust may try on these powers, just for one day, and without obligation to longer terms.
The story was popularised in England by , who gave it a classic treatment in his play whose date of publication is debated, but likely around 1587.
The Polish story seems to have originated at roughly the same time as its German counterpart, yet it is unclear whether the two tales have a common origin or influenced each other.
The talented Leverkühn, after contracting venereal disease from a brothel visit, forms a pact with a Mephistophelean character to grant him 24 years of brilliance and success as a composer.
Goethe's Faust is a genuinely classical production, but the idea is a historical idea, and hence every notable historical era will have its own Faust.