Greek mythology is filled with surprises and important snippets which play a pivotal role in shaping methodologies to lead an ideal life. For instance, pride goes before a fall – this is a popular proverb that many are aware of. In order to cite the relevancy of such short statements, the Greek mythology often includes brief stories. One such tale is about Icarus and his father Daedalus. The rest of the pages will offer a brief glimpse into Icarus – who he was, why he (along with his father) was imprisoned by the Cretan King Minos and the circumstances that led to the fall of Icarus.
Daedalus was a master inventor and a superior craftsman. He worked for King Minos and built numerous structures – which included a system of labyrinth. This structure was built to cater to a specific purpose; and this was nothing but to house the fabled Minotaur. Minotaur was a half man, half bull creature – whose birth had caused great anguish to King Minos. According to the legends, Poseidon used to send in a white bull to satisfy the sexual pangs of Queen Pasiphae (who happened to be the wife of King Minos) and the Minotaur was born out of this relationship.
As a matter of fact, Icarus does not even play a significant role in this tale; his importance occurs only towards the culminating parts. It was his father, the renowned architect of the labyrinth who gets thrown into the same dungeon which he had built to keep the Minotaur from the prying eyes of the public. Since Icarus knew and learnt a lot from his father, King Minos thought that it would be wiser to banish the son too. Soon after they were imprisoned, the intelligent among the two i.e. the father realized that the duo could never escape from the labyrinth by foot.
In order to cope up with this situation, Daedalus came up with an innovative solution. The king could only control the entities that moved across the land. However, if they could fly out, then the king would never even realize that the prisoners were missing. Keeping this thought within him, Daedalus prepared artificial wings – made out of feathers and common wax only to affix these in his son as well as himself. Within no time, Icarus and his father were high up in the skies – flying to everlasting freedom – when disaster struck in the form of pride!
Icarus began to ignore the heeds of his father and started to surge to even higher altitudes. The rays of the sun are strongest at those levels and it is of no wonder that the wax (which held the wings in place) began to come off. Gradually, all the feathers attached to Icarus were shed; he fell into the sea which lay beneath him. Daedalus realized that his son was missing his flight only to find the remnants of the feathers of the latter. The story ends with Daedalus burying his dead son in a nearby island.