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Hast thou forgot the foul witch Sycorax, who with age and envy was grown into a hoop? Hast thou forgot her?
~ Prospero mentioning Sycorax for the first time.

Sycorax is the posthumous Bigger Bad of the 1611 William Shakespeare play, The Tempest. She was a fiendish sorcerer and tyrannous ruler of the island (the play's main setting), and gave birth to Caliban before passing away. She is responsible for a number of relationships and character states in the present narrative.

History

Sycorax lived a portion of her life in the city of Algiers, practicing dark magic that grew so mighty that she could control the moon. Fearing her dark determination and skill, the people would have her executed or exiled, and she fled to the play's iconic island, pregnant with her monstrous son Caliban. Upon reaching the shore, she took over without further ado, becoming the land's supreme ruler. She bound the spirit Ariel to her will, and when he objected against her abhorrent orders, she imprisoned him in a pine tree. After mothering Caliban, she brought him up to worship her demonic god Setebos. Caliban's childhood and relation to both his mother and the isle led him to believe he was indeed the rightful heir to the throne, which contributed to his later antagonism towards Prospero. Eventually, Sycorax died, presumably of old age, tragically leaving Ariel trapped in the tree until Prospero and Miranda showed.

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