Illustration Friday - Escape
What was Icarus thinking before he escaped into the sky on those glorious wings of feather, wax and thread? Although he had been warned by his father Dedalus not to fly too high lest the sun melt the wax that held his wings together, once in the air he was overcome by the thrill of flight and the power of his wings. In exultation, Icarus soared heavenward towards the sun, forgetting his father's earnest and loving words of caution. The death of Icarus is told in the following lines by Darwin:
Sunk hapless Icarus on unfaithful wings;
Headlong he rushed through the affrighted air,
With limbs distorted and dishevelled hair;
His scattered plumage danced upon the wave,
And sorrowing Nereids decked his watery grave;
O’er his pale corse their pearly sea-flowers shed,
And strewed with crimson moss his marble bed;
Struck in their coral towers the passing bell,
And wide in ocean tolled his echoing knell.
The Myth of Icarus has long stood as a cautionary tale warning of the brash, impulsive exuberance of youth. I like to wonder though about the immense feeling of possibility young Icarus must have felt as he stood poised at the edge of the cliff, with the dark sea rolling out for miles to the mainland of Greece and the sun heating his blood and stirring his ambition. Perhaps in that moment, to him the sky wasn't the limit, and when he pushed off into the air, it was with a sense of confidence and purpose...a fine way to start a new journey.
You can read about Icarus in Bullfinche's Mythology