The story of Icarus has been a favorite of mine since I was little.  I have always considered it a cautionary tale.  Just because something seems bright and welcoming, doesn’t mean it can’t hurt you.  For those of you unfamiliar with the tale, here is a short telling.

Daedalus was an artisan and was commissioned by King Minos of Crete to create a labyrinth for the Kings enemies.  Daedalus eventually told one of Minos’s victims how to escape his maze unharmed.  Due to his treason, he and his son Icarus were forced to flee.

In Greek myth fashion, Daedalus makes two pairs of wings out of wax and feathers for himself and his son. Daedalus tried his wings first, but before taking off from the island, warned his son not to fly too close to the sun, nor too close to the sea, but to follow his path of flight. Overcome by the giddiness that flying lent him, Icarus soared through the sky curiously, but in the process, he came too close to the sun, which melted the wax. Icarus kept flapping his wings but soon realized that he had no feathers left and that he was only flapping his bare arms and so Icarus fell into the sea dead in the area which today bears his name, the Icarian Sea.

4/10/2013 03:12:32

Woot, a Greek myth. I love them so much. I agree this is a cautionary tale about chasing after things you think are nice but they may hurt you in the end.

4/10/2013 03:29:53

Cautionary indeed. Even the lovely warmth of the sun is cancerous when indulged in too much, too long, without precaution.

Wisdom well conveyed via this alluring Greek myth.


Christine London

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4/10/2013 10:38:46

I did study some Greek myth, and loved it, but now when I hear the name Icarus I think of the song "Flight of Icarus" by Iron Maiden ;) Love it.

4/10/2013 12:21:10

My version of the moral of the story would be: kids, listen to your parents! But then, I guess I have a vested interest :)


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