Answer: The witch Sycorax, whom Prospero refers to as "blue-eyed hag" is the mother of Caliban. She was born and banished from Argier (the older form of Algiers). She is mentioned in 1.2 and 5.1. Ariel was her servant but punished him for disobedience (Ariel was "too delicate/To act her earthy and abhorr'd commands"), trapping him in a cloven pine for a dozen years, during which time she died.
Sycorax's use of magic for evil purposes is in sharp contrast to Prospero's use of magic for good.
How to cite this article:
Mabillard, Amanda. Who Is Sycorax?Shakespeare Online. 10 Aug. 2010. (date when you accessed the information) < http://www.shakespeare-online.com/plays/thetempest/questionst/sycorax.html >.