Tag Archives: Magi

The Three Magi by Nicholas Konstantinovich Roerich

The Three Magi

The Town. Variant. Scenery sketch for N.Evreinov drama “The Three Magi”. 1907
Город. Вариант. Набросок декорации к мистерии Н.Евреинова «Три волхва»
Gouache, ink on paper mounted on cardboard. 28.5 x 34 cm.
E.M.Velichko collection, Moscow

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The Gift of the Magi

Three: A Magic Number

In “The Gift of the Magi,” the number three figures prominently. Consider the following:

  • gift of the MagiThe story has three characters: Della, Jim, and Madame Sophronie.
  • Della counts her money three times (Paragraph 1).
  • The narrator says that “Life is made up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles (Paragraph 2).
  • The story refers three times to the Youngs’ supper entree: chops.
  • The story mentions the Queen of Sheba, who gave three types of gifts to King Solomon: spices, gold, and jewels.
  • A sentence in Paragraph 5 says, “She stood by the window and looked out dully at a grey cat walking a grey fence in a grey backyard.”
  • Jim tells Della, I don’t think there’s anything in the way of a haircut or a shave or a shampoo that could make me like my girl any less.
  • The narrator alliteratively describes Della as speaking with “sudden serious sweetness.”
  • The were three magi: Balthasar, Melchior, and Gaspar.
  • The magi offered three gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
  • According to tradition, the magi were kings of Arabia, Persia, and India. 
  • The story centers on three valuables: Jim’s gold watch, Della’s hair, and the love Jim and Della share.

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