The Fall of Icarus

Essay by robstubs15College, UndergraduateA, December 2006

download word file, 2 pages 4.5

Downloaded 50 times

Icarus is the son of Daedalus who flew too close to the sun on wings of feathers and wax. The story is that Daedalus and his young son were imprisoned by King Minos. In order to escape, Daedalus made two pairs of wings fashioned from feathers and wax. Giving a pair to his son, he warned him not to fly close to the sun, since it would cause the wax to melt. Overcome by the thrill of flight, Icarus doesn't heed to his fathers warning and soars too high, causing the wax to melt. The unfortunate outcome was Icarus plunging to his untimely death. Daedalus blamed himself for his son's death because of his failed creation. Throughout the ages this story has been retold, some in poems and some in essays.

The poem "Musee Des Beaux Arts" by W.H. Auden introduces the idea that death of one person like Icarus can affect others in different degrees and some not at all.

The Plowman heard the splash and Icarus's crying out but he continued like nothing ever happened. Icarus's father, Daedalus, blames his own creation for his son's death, instead of putting the blame on his son for not listening to him.

Another poem called, "Waiting for Icarus" by Muriel Rukeyser was written from the point of view of Icarus's lover. She reminiscences of past promises and hopes, where Icarus painted dreams of them together with him becoming his own master and standing up to his father. He said that he only loved her and that she was his inspiration. He said that everything would be safe and he would come back for her. She mourns what she could have had if he lived, and wonders if it is worth living on. This poem expands the myth to a...