Daedalus and Icarus

863 views 4 pages ~ 975 words
Get a Custom Essay Writer Just For You!

Experts in this subject field are ready to write an original essay following your instructions to the dot!

Hire a Writer

There are many ancient expressions that are used today including Sisyphean labor, tantalum flour, Procrustean bed, Augean stables, Trojan horse, narcissistic narcissist, or apple of discord. Many of these idioms have become an organic, integral part of our language and culture coming from the mythology of the ancient Greeks. Knowing Greek mythology is very important. Images of Greek myths are reflected in numerous works of literature and art, they are firmly entrenched in our daily lives. While not giving birth to any particular idiom, the legend of Daedalus and Icarus is one of the most famous and important ones.

Real Facts About Daedalus

The prototype of mythic Daedalus lived in ancient Athens and was a great artist, carver, and builder, a descendant of the royal family. It is said that Athena Pallas, the wise goddess, taught him various crafts. He built great palaces and temples, which impressed everyone with their slender structure, and for those palaces and temples, he carved from wood figures of immortal gods, so beautiful that then people for centuries carefully preserved them. Before Daedalus, statues were made in the form of motionless, petrified people, with their hands firmly pressed to their bodies, their legs closed, their eyes closed. Daedalus boldly began to carve differently, he opened the eyes of his figures, freed their arms and legs, and seemed to give them mobility. It seemed that they were about to move and leave. Therefore, priests in some temples tied Daedalus' wooden gods to prevent them from escaping at times (Stewart). Whether these facts are real or not, it is quite plain that Daedalus was a largely talented sculptor that went ahead of his time, and the myth about Daedalus and Icarus was likely inspired by the former’s talent.

Daedalus' disciple was his nephew Talos, still a teenager, but smart and capable enough to make Daedalus wonder how quickly the boy takes over from him and already creates amazing things. Once Talos found a snake's jaw on the ground, looked closely at it, and made a saw, a new thing for the people of that time. He invented the potter’s wheel to make it easier and better to sculpt all kinds of utensils on it. And when he cut that circle out of wood, he invented the compass, which is still used by people (Ovid viii.236). The legacy of real-life Daedalus, thus, is still relevant today making the mythic sculptor even more prominent.

Myth of Daedalus and Icarus

We now call a myth something fantastic, fictional, something that did not exist in real historical reality. The ancient Greeks, or Hellenes, as they called themselves, translated this word as "word, language or conversation, the meaning of the story." Thus, the word had more meanings than the modern "myth". In ancient Greece, various crafts and arts were largely developed. As a result, many myths raise the issue of creative search and depict the image of the creator. Daedalus was a famous sculptor, builder, carver, inventor of various tools. The very name Daedalus from Greek means to do artistically (Stewart). The essence of Daedalus, thus, speaks of him as a wise and artistic man. Being able to create wings for himself and Icarus and then warning Icarus of the dangers of using those wings tells much about Daedalus as of the creator.

From bird feathers and wax, Daedalus made large wings for himself and his son Icarus, on which they rose high into the sky. In unspeakable delight, Icarus forgot his father's warning and rose very high - to the golden sun. Suddenly, with great horror, he began to feel that his wings were no longer holding him as firmly as before. The hot rays of the sun melted their wax, and the feathers fell down. Now the young man tried in vain to wave his wingless hands. He called for his father's help, but Daedalus did not hear him.

Then he searched long and desperately for his son. But found only feathers on the waves. Realizing what had happened, he went mad with grief. Icarus' body was buried by Hercules, and the sea into which he fell was called Icarus. Daedalus himself was in Sicily for a long time, and then moved to Athens, where he became the founder of the family of Daedalus artists (“The Myth Of Daedalus And Icarus”). The lesson that comes from the story is quite plain and simple, yet it is relevant in the present day as well. The myth about Daedalus and Icarus teaches people to not overestimate themselves as well as not to lose reason to excitement. the modern world is full of pleasures and information. It is vital not to forget that too much pleasure can sometimes be painful.


Almost every nation from the most ancient epochs has legends in which the historical is intertwined with the fictional. In ancient times, people perceived myths as authentic stories about what happened before. But centuries passed, and they gradually turned into ordinary grandmother's tales. Legends began to be interpreted not literally, but figuratively. Myths were the embodiment of human dreams. For example, the Daedalus and Icarus myth clearly reflect the desire to fly. However, there is a moral here. The myth of Daedalus and Icarus teaches that even from unattainable heights you can fall down.

Works Cited

"The Myth of Daedalus And Icarus". Greek Myths & Greek Mythology, 2022, https://www.greekmyths-greekmythology.com/myth-of-daedalus-and-icarus/.

Ovid. "Metamorphoses". The Internet Classics Archive, 2009, http://classics.mit.edu/Ovid/metam.8.eighth.html.

Stewart, Andrew. "One Hundred Greek Sculptors, Their Careers and Extant Works, The Sculptors, The Archaic Period". Perseus Digital Library, 1999, http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus:text:1999.04.0008:part=2:chapter=1.

May 12, 2022


Number of pages


Number of words




Writer #



Expertise Ancient Rome
Verified writer

GeraldKing is an amazing writer who will help you with History tasks. He is the friendliest person who will provide you with explanations because he really wants you to learn. Recommended for your history or anthropology assignments!

Hire Writer

This sample could have been used by your fellow student... Get your own unique essay on any topic and submit it by the deadline.

Eliminate the stress of Research and Writing!

Hire one of our experts to create a completely original paper even in 3 hours!

Hire a Pro