Myths of Ancient Greece: Daedalus and Icarus

The mythology of ancient Greece is one of the most popular mythologies of ancient civilizations and the most well-preserved. The myths gathered in it tell about the Cretan and Mycenaean civilizations, the times associated with the special worship of certain gods, and the rule of famous mythological rulers such as Minos, Aegeus and others. Myths explain the origin of many things and phenomena as they could explain to themselves the ancient Greeks, who did not know the scientific discoveries and believed in all-powerful gods.

Gods punishing

The myth of Daedalus and Icarus, or the manual, how to escape from persecution

After Tesei, the son of Athens, the king of Athens, defeated the Minotaur thanks to the help of Daedalus and Princess Ariadne, the daughter of Minos, Theseus, together with his comrades and Ariadne, went back to his hometown by ship. When Minos found out what had happened, he guessed who had helped Theseus, and was terribly angry. Rushed to the home of Daedalus, but found no one there. Sent in search of fugitives to the guard. And what about Daedalus?

Daedalus, in the past - a master inventor from Athens, fled from his native city to Crete after the death of his nephew, who accidentally fell from a cliff. Daedalus was accused of his death.On Crete escaped from persecution. But he ended up in the open air: although he lived among ordinary people, he could not escape from the island. Much time has passed since he got to Minos. I missed my homeland and spent a long time looking for a way to return.

One day, sitting by the sea, he looked up and began watching birds. "If I cannot run across the sea — it is under the authority of Minos, then why shouldn't I do it across the sky?" - he thought. And he began to collect the feathers of large birds. He tied them with linen thread and held them in wax. So he made two pairs of wings - for himself and his son Icarus. Then he began to teach flights Icarus. And all the time I was instructed: “Do not go up to the Sun, so that its rays do not scorch you. Do not come down close to the water, so that the moisture does not wet the feathers”.

When Minos sent guards in search of Dedalus and Icarus who escaped from the hut, the fugitives hid on the shore among the rocks. And then they soared into the sky, heading towards Attica.

Master Daedalus

Daedalus and Icarus flew from Crete. We flew low. The sun was rising higher. The fishermen saw them in the sky, but thought it was the gods that fly over them.

Suddenly Icarus soared high to the Sun, forgetting what his father was saying. The wax holding the feathers melted, the wings crumbled. Ikar flew down like a stone and crashed into the water. When Daedalus turned around - he did not see his son in the sky.Looking at the sea, he found feathers floating on the surface of the wings. In grief and despair Daedalus descended to the nearest island. With anger he broke his wings and cursed the art in which he was engaged.

This is the myth of the ancient Greeks about Dedal and Icarus. Summary above.

The most ancient myth about Daedalus and Icarus

Greeks on the wings of Daedalus

There is a version that under the wings that the master and his son put on themselves, they meant amazing slanting sails of ships with their functionality, which could use the tail, side and even headwind, which means they made the ship more maneuverable and fast. Strongly reduced travel time. In connection with this, the idea is expressed that Daedalus and Icarus did not fly away, but still sailed from Crete. Icarus, according to Ovid's Metamorphoses, was very restless, indulged in a lot and didn’t obey his father too much. As a result, fell overboard and drowned.

The myth of Daedalus as a representative of late classical mythology

It is in the myths of this period that a hero appears who fulfills God's purpose. At the same time, he is a thinker, makes discoveries in science and technology, creates a cultural environment around himself, and also fights for human freedom.All this leads to the commission of daring actions, and further - to the destruction of dreams, the accomplishment of illegal actions and punishment.

Icarus Fall

Reason, intellect, creativity become a solution to problems, not cruelty and bloodshed. In these myths, special attention is paid to the love of the profession, skill. It is the mind and resourcefulness that Daedalus manifests, creating wings that lead to freedom and salvation. But they will lead him to a complete collapse and loss of the ability to create and think further. Kill talent. So the figure of Daedalus is dramatic from all sides. Not only in terms of losing an heir.

Symbols and images of myth

The myths of ancient peoples are deeply symbolic. Each image of them carries an important meaning and helps a person to reflect and draw conclusions. Ancient myths about Dedal and Icarus are no exception.

Form Character value
Daedalus as a father Supreme authority; God father; wisdom of generations of ancestors
Sea Routine life
The sun A dream, a symbol of growing power, a punishing beginning
Wings The ability of a person to creativity, flight of imagination, creative possibilities, a way to rise above oneself and above the world, its problems
Sky The path to salvation, freedom
A fall Pay
Icarus Arrogance, recklessness, the ability to dream and dare

Myth as a moral and instructive lesson

He turns us to the topic of the attitude of generations, to the rejection of the descendants of ancestral advice, to the immaturity and irresponsibility of adolescents. In addition, the myth raises the question that very often a person underestimates the real state of things, because of which various troubles and misfortunes happen to him. Particularly affected are people who are drunk with success and are high on the rest. The myth also speaks of dedication, patience and diligence, of falls and the ability to rise after them and move on. About losing and gaining a dream.

Myth about Dedal and Icarus

Myth as prediction

Many myths and works of art can be considered as predictions. If we talk about the ancient Greek myth about Dedal and Icarus, then it tells about the eternal human desire for flight: "Why do people not fly like birds?" - asks Katerina in “The Storm” by A. Ostrovsky. Precisely because people sought to the sky, Daedalus’s greatest achievement is not considered his buildings and statues, not his other scientific and technical discoveries, but the invention of wings as a prototype of an aircraft (aircraft, helicopter).Opening Daedalus is far ahead of the era of flight.

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