Top 10 Devils In Literature

11:09 am 11 Oct, 2013

The devil has always been a favored muse for many artists and writers. There is something exciting about reading a story where the devil is one of the main characters. It gives us a chance to explore all that is evil within us and also to push the boundaries of the society in terms of what topics we can talk about. Writers have portrayed the devil in many forms; sometimes as a sexy woman, sometimes as a sly cunning well dressed man and sometimes as a fierce creature that will scare your pants off. So how about knowing them here?

10. The Exorcist:

Before becoming a very successful movie, The Exorcist was a novel written by William Peter Blatty in 1971. The devil who possessed the little girl is one of the scariest rendition of demonic possession. It started the trend of little evil girls in both literature and cinema because nothing is scarier than little evil girls.

Top 10 Devils In Literature

9. Young Goodman Brown:

Nathaniel Hawthorne was an American writer who was haunted by his family’s participation in the Salem witch trials during which his grandfather was a judge who sentenced many men and women to death. His writings have always criticized that era and its limited thinking. In the short story Young Goodman Brown he talks about how a man loses faith from religion when he finds out that everyone in the town is a Satan worshiper. In this story the devil appears to him as an older version of himself.

Top 10 Devils In Literature

8. The Master and Margarita:

The Master and Margarita is a novel by Mikhail Bulgakov that was published in 1967. In this novel the devil comes to an atheist Soviet Union and finds it amusing to see the people living in a bureaucratic society. It is considered as one of the best works of the 20th century and the sarcastic devil is one of the best portrayals in satire.

Top 10 Devils In Literature

7. Paradise Lost:

Paradise Lost by John Milton is an epic poem that is considered to be a great piece of literature. In this poem that contains more than 10,000 lines Milton shares the story of the Bible about the Fall of Man. It is the story of Adam and Eve who are tempted by the fallen angel Satan to eat the forbidden fruit and as a result they get banished from the Garden of Eden.

Top 10 Devils In Literature

6. The Brothers Karamazov:

Fyodor Dostoevsky’s devil is a philosophical devil with a much deeper evil than most other devils in literature. The Brothers Karamazov is a philosophical novel about the existence of God, evil, free will and ethics. The devil in this story is a gentleman of high birth who is down on his luck.

Top 10 Devils In Literature

5. The Divine Comedy:


The Divine Comedy is Dante Alighieri’s masterpiece epic poem that talks about his travels through hell, purgatory and heaven. Dante’s devil is a very interesting take on the devil as a terrifying but rather impotent being. He’s shown as a being with three faces who is stuck in ice up to his chest and chews on three traitors in each mouth.

Top 10 Devils In Literature

4. Faust:

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a German writer who’s play Faust is considered to be a masterpiece of German literature. The tragic play is based on a German legend about a intelligent man who makes a deal with the devil to get unlimited knowledge and worldly pleasures. The devil appears as Mephistopheles to win a bet placed with God to lure Faust, God’s favorite human, away from the right path.

Top 10 Devils In Literature

3. I, Lucifer:

I, Lucifer is Glen Duncan’s 2003 novel about the devil who is given another chance by God to redeem himself by living on earth in the body of a writer for a month. At first the devil takes it as a holiday and enjoys sex and drugs but slowly begins to realize things about God and human life.

Top 10 Devils In Literature

2. The Witches of Eastwick:

This 1984 novel by John Updike is set in 1960’s fictional town of Rhode Island in Eastwick. Four women form a coven of witches and then the devil comes to town. He goes about seducing each woman and tempts them to abuse their powers to create a scandal in the small town.

Top 10 Devils In Literature

1. Codex Gigas:

Codex Gigas is the largest extant medieval manuscript in the world. It is also known as the bible of the devil because of a very large and scary illustration of the devil inside the manuscript. The legend goes that a monk tried to write the whole manuscript in one night and when he realized he couldn’t do it he made a pact with the devil to help him finish it on time. So it is said that this bible was written by the devil himself.

Top 10 Devils In Literature

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