►Icarus´Fall: “The Myth. Symbolism and Interpretation”:
►Icarus´Fall: “The Myth”:
Icarus’s father Daedalus, an athenian craftsman, built the Labyrinth for King Minos of Crete near his palace at Knossos to imprison the Minotaur, a half-man, half-bull monster born of his wife and the Cretan bull. Minos imprisoned Daedalus himself in the labyrinth because he gave Minos’ daughter, Ariadne, a or ball of string in order to help Theseus , the enemy of Minos, to survive the Labyrinth and defeat the Minotaur.
Daedalus fashioned 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.
If he were to do so, Daedalus explained, the wax that held his wings together would melt, rendering them useless, and Icarus would fall from the sky to his death.
Icarus, however, was overcome by the incredible feeling of flight. He was so taken by the experience, that he flew higher and higher. He flew so high that he got perilously close to the sun. Just as his father warned him would happen, the wax on his wings melted into a useless liquid. The wings fell to pieces and Icarus fell from the sky. The water into which Icarus is said to have fallen is near Icaria, a Grecian Island in the Aegean Sea. The island is named for the legendary flying man. Icaria is southwest of the island of Samos.
►SlideShare: “Daedalus and Icarus”:
►Icarus´Fall: “Symbolism and Interpretation”:
Symbols are insightful expressions of human nature.They are the external, lower expressions of higher truths and represent deep intuitive wisdom impossible by direct terms.
Joseph Campbell defined symbols as “giving expression to what is absolutely “unknowable” by intellect”.
In the psychiatric mind features of disease were perceived in the shape of the pendulous emotional ecstatic-high and depressive-low of bipolar disorder.
Henry Murray having proposed the term Icarus complex, apparently found symptoms particularly in mania where a person is fond of heights, fascinated by both fire and water, narcissistic and observed with fantastical cognitio.
The myth of Icarus´moral is to “take the middle way” by warning against heedless pursuit of instant gratification.
In this sense it highlights the greek idea of Sophrosyne (Greek: σωφροσύνη), which etymologically means healthy-mindedness and from there self-control or moderation guided by knowledge and balance.
As Aristotle held, as shown in the post , “Aristotle´s Ethical Theory: On The Concept of Virtue and Golden Mean”, virtue is a kind of moderation as it aims at the mean or moderate amount.
The flight of Icarus could be interpreted as a lesson in the value of moderation. The danger in flying “too high” (i.e. melting of the wax wings) or in flying “too low” (i.e. weighting down the wings by sea-water spray) were advocations for one to respect one’s limits and to act accordingly.
The moral of this myth could be also linked to Plato´s analogy of the divided line, in which the Sun symbolizes the highest Form (Idea of God). Therefore according to this perspective, Icarus has flown too high . He tried to become wiser than Gods whilst achieving Knowledge and, as he defied the godess, he was punished for that reason.
A similar interpretation is found in Plato´s myth of Phaethon, as it appears in his elderly dialogue “Timaeus”.
Moreover and going further, considering Plato´s allegory of the cave, Icarus could be linked to the escaped prisoner, who represents the Philosopher, who seeks knowledge outside of the cave (labyrinth).
Icarus´s myth may also be related to Plato´s analogy of the chariot. When flying high with his waxed wings, Icarus´ chariot was driven by the obstinated black horse, which represents man’s appetites. The fact of disobeying Daedalus´advice proves that his rational part of the soul which should rule over appetites wasn´t strong and determined enough to do so. In other words, the black horse beats the rational charioteer .
Icarus’ age is an aspect of the myth that deserves a mention here, for it is a characteristic of the period of adolescence to impulsively follow the appetite for life, to rush into the unknown adventure, to chase dreams, to follow temptation and not to heed warnings of danger.-
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Best Wishes, Aquileana :P