Sycorax, the Sorcerer, Shakespeare, and the Bible

With the release of Sycorax and the Sorcerer, I thought I might reveal some of the symbolism going on in the tale for this blog post. But first, I would just like to take a moment to say, “Whew!” On my end, it was more work than I expected to get all three of these fairy tales perfected and published. If you choose to read them, I hope you enjoy them!

Sycorax and the Sorcerer Book Cover

Back to the symbolism, though. I intended the use of symbolism in the fairy tales to bring to mind a reference, but then to compare and contrast that reference in the reader’s mind. From the title—Sycorax and the Sorcerer—you may have guessed that the name Sycorax comes from Shakespeare. William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, to be exact. In The Tempest, Sycorax as a character is referred to, but never actually appears in the play. We know that she was the mother of Caliban and a very powerful, dark sorceress. In the fairy tale, Sycorax and the Sorcerer, the title character of Sycorax is also a powerful sorceress. Here, the symbolism found in the name Sycorax is meant to cause a comparison to be drawn between the two characters, who share commonalities, but are not the same.

Tempest by Rowe 1709

Another nod to The Tempest in Sycorax and the Sorcerer is the Island of Eden, for Shakespeare’s entire play takes place on an island full of magical happenings. Likewise, the Island of Eden is full of strange, magical events. But you may notice that the Island of Eden also has ties to another place. The name Eden immediately calls to mind the idyllic garden of Eden found in the Bible. The Island of Eden in Sycorax and the Sorcerer, however, is quite the opposite of perfect as far as its creator is concerned.

And Eden is not the only ironic comparison made between the fairy tale Sycorax and the Sorcerer and the Bible. Within the fairy tale of Sycorax and the Sorcerer, there are two creators, creating land and much more. But these two creators are also quite different from the one creator found in the Bible, although they share many similarities that are meant to pull the reader into an analogy.

God Creates Adam by Michelangelo

If you’ve read the fairy tale, you know that the two creators are Sycorax and her apprentice, referred to by several titles, most commonly known as the Old Man or the Old Sorcerer. The way that they create the world of the Continent and the Island of Eden in the fairy tale is meant to draw parallels to the creation of the Earth described in Genesis. It is also meant to contrast. For the world in the fairy tale is plagued with miscalculations and errors that the sorcerers do not intend, and they never fully complete their world, even by the tale’s end, while the world created in the Bible is complete in seven of God’s days.

And even though God creates the world in Genesis, He never directly interacts with humanity in the Bible in the same way that Sycorax and the Old Sorcerer do. Although, of course, Jesus does comes to us in the New Testament. But then again, Jesus is not interacting with humanity in the same way as Sycorax and the Old Sorcerer. In Sycorax and the Sorcerer, we get to follow Sycorax and the Old Sorcerer around, seeing their characters first hand, even knowing some of their thoughts, throughout the story.

There are other parallels and ironies that may be drawn between the fairy tale of Sycorax and the Sorcerer, The Tempest, and the Bible. My hope is that it will enhance the pleasure in reading the story. What connections do you find in reading the tale?

*Sycorax and the Sorcerer is now available on Amazon’s Kindle Format. For those of you who do not own a Kindle, Amazon provides a free Kindle App for tablets, computers and smartphones. Otherwise, I do plan on publishing all three tales in this series to other formats later in 2014. In fact, Knue who Slew the Dragon should become available on Nook in March 2014.

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