Wednesday, 15 August 2012


Still on my alphabet blog, and up to I.

Today I am waffling on about the Greek myth of Icarus, the son of Daedulus a master craftsman who according to the myths designed and created the labyrinth for King Minos.

Batlings, you may be wondering why I chose to blog about Icarus. Firstly I needed something starting with the letter I for my alphabet blog challenge, and secondly, this myth intrigues me.

To refresh your memories, Daedulus, a fictionional precursor to say Leonardo Da Vinci maybe, is always making stuff. Over active imagination perhaps, but he was always tinkering. One day he started experimenting with how to make people fly. He constructed some human sized wings and glued feathers on his wing frame with wax. Icarus wants to do a test flight, so his dad gives in to his pleas and helps him on with the wings. Daedulus finds a spot for Icarus to try out the flying device, but cautions him to stick to the plan and just fly in the area they had already sussed out as the safest place to try ut these wings.

Icarus, overcome with ambition and eagerness over his first flight, ignored the instuctions o his father, and instead of flying in the predetermined path, he flew up and up towards the sun. So here we hav a guy with manmade wings strapped to his back and arms, and feathers stuck on with...wax.... yes.... wax. So batlings, what is wrong with this picture, wax....the sun... hmmmmm

So say the feathers were glued on with bees wax, which melts at around 45 degrees celcius, and say the average temperature of the surface of the sun is oooooh around 5400-6000 degrees celcius.... (lets not get to how hot it is at the core, lets face it batlings, he would never have got there), what say you as what would have happened to this waxy glue????

OK.. here we have young ambitious eager to show he is a star Icarus, plunging to the earth subsequent to all his feathers melting off in the massive inferno of the sun.... and... splash... he falls into the icy depths of the sea, where he meets his ultimate salty sea water end.

I don't know about you my dear batlings, but this Icarus tragedy reminds me of Lady Macbeth... ok she was neither Greek nor a wearer of feathers, but may i remind you that her ambition led also to her untimely demise? Not to mention how she encouraged her husband to also leap ahead with ill thought out overly ambitious plans.

Macbeth: I have no spur, To prick the sides of my intent, but only Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself, And falls on th'other. . . .

i have read some moralising theorists rant about the myth of Icarus being about the lesson you must always heed the advice of your elders.... not all the advice of our elders is necessarily correct... so im not going with this idea. To me the ill fated flight of Icarus to me points out the folly of not sticking to the plan making a decision without a proper risk assessment, and allowing the effects of over ambition to rule one's actions.

Nothing worng with having ambition, but take heed my dear batlings, and do not use bees wax as glue if you are going to fly near the sun.



  1. Poor Icarus. Failed science class I think.

  2. No bees wax glue for me! Fun Post

  3. I love mythology, fairy tales, and pretty much any type of folk tales. And I agree with you, I don't believe the meaning of the tale of Icarus was about "listening to your elders." I've often heard it means, that we're not meant to fly...but I don't believe this either. I think you've got it right, with well thought-out planning you can do anything. Excellent post, EmpressBat!


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