Compare Prospero & Sycorax as Magical Practitioners in Shakespeare's The Tempest.
Sycorax was the original inhabitant of the enchanted Island now inhabited by Prospero and his crewmen. She was exiled to the island as punishment for maleficium. .
Sycorax is a witch, a sorceress. She uses her magic for malevolent deeds, primarily to exert control and petrify people. Sycorax used this evil witchcraft to take over the island and make her presence felt.
Sycorax has a son Caliban, whom she controls through her magic.
Caliban was born from Sycorax's union with the Devil. This is a clear indicator that her magic is not used for good purposes; it is black magic, which is used for invoking the Devil. This magic produces unnatural effects in the world, hence the birth of Caliban. "His very birth was inhuman, for his mother was Sycorax, a witch, and his father was the Devil, he is, therefore, the offspring of active malignancy" .
Sycorax is extremely spiteful and her use of her magic illustrates this when she traps the spirit Ariel in a cloven pine. She did this to Ariel because he denied her the use of his powers.
The magic of Sycorax derives from witchcraft and sorcery. She is extremely powerful, as she does not have to invoke spells and incantations from books. Her spells conjure immediate power. A good example of this lies in her spiteful jailing of Ariel in the pine tree.
Prospero is acutely aware of Sycorax's great powers. ".Which thou forget'st. This damned witch Sycorax, For mischeifs manifold and sorceries terrible To enter human hearing, from Algier." .
Sycorax was an extremely potent which not afraid to use her powers to further herself.
Although Sycorax does not have a speaking part in the play, her malign presence permeates the play through the accounts of her by .
Ariel, and through her sons curses " As wicked dew as e"er my mother brushed with ravens feather or unwholesome fen." . Her magic is the intensely dark, wicked black magic.