"King Midas" and "Daedalus and Icarus" Comparison Essay

Essay by GroeneHigh School, 12th gradeA+, December 2007

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“King Midas” and “Daedalus and Icarus” Comparison Essay“King Midas” and “Daedalus and Icarus” are two Greek myths. In “King Midas” the king receives a wish from Dionysus after doing him a favour. Midas chooses that everything he touches turns to gold. “Daedalus and Icarus” focuses on the main character’s escape from King Minos’ captivity. Daedalus invents wings to escape, but his son does not follow his advice and flies too high. This causes the sun to melt the wax holding his wings together and Icarus plummets towards his death. Both myths show some of the morals and philosophies of the Ancient Greeks. “King Midas” and “Daedalus and Icurus” convey Greek morals, such as hubris and the golden mean through their main characters.

Hubris in Ancient Greece meant over-confidence or extreme arrogance over one’s ability. In “King Midas”, the main character, Midas, unknowingly makes a foolish decision, by wishing that everything he touches turns to gold.

When his gift becomes a liability because his food is also turning into gold, he asks for the forgiveness and pity of the Gods. Dionysus responds to this plea and tells him how to get rid of his “golden touch”. This shows that the Ancient Greeks only considered an act to be hubris, when the person in question was very arrogant and cocky about his ability. King Midas was foolish, but he realized that he had made a mistake. He asked for forgiveness and the Gods took pity on him. This shows that the Ancient Greeks valued humility and did not like overconfidence in the form of hubris. On the other hand the “Daedalus and Icarus” myth demonstrates what happens when hubris takes over, through the character...