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Comparing Poems 'Daedalus And Icarus'

Decent Essays
“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return” (Leonardo da Vinci). In the earliest form of literature, Greek mythology, there is a myth that tells the story of Daedalus and Icarus who used wings to escape a terrible imprisonment. Many poems have been inspired by this myth, each with a different perspective of the death of Icarus’ character. Both the poem, “Impossible is Nothing” by Alejandro Velazquez and Ovid’s myth “Daedalus and Icarus” depict the way greed and fear prevent us from reaching our full potential. Both the myth and the modern poem use the tragic death to emphasize this theme but differ in their use of conflict and…show more content…
Velazquez emphasizes this theme when he writes that he will fly high but not too high because “trying to pass the limits, /Will make [him] a dead bird, /Losing the meaning of life” (Velazquez 16-18). These lines tell you that you need to balance all aspects of life because if you let greed overcome you, you will soar too high and fall. It is important to know your limits and not pass them because if you do, it will be the cause of your failure. This works the way eating does, if too much food is eaten, it will be thrown up because there is a limit to the amount of food that fits in a stomach. When exceeding limits, one might get injured in a physical, mental, or spiritual way; this affects many activities during daily life. In lines 22-24 of Ovid’s myth “Daedalus and Icarus”, Daedalus warns his son “to travel/ the middle course” because if he flies “too low/ the waves may weigh down [the] wings” and if he flies “too high the fires will scorch [his] wings.” When flying, Icarus is filled with excitement and he soars high into the heavens, forgetting his father’s warning; he falls and is swallowed by the sea. Aiming for the middle course means to be balanced. One should not be greedy and want everything, nor should they be fearful and avoid everything. Feelings cannot be changed but they can be balanced. Putting maximum effort is great and not exceeding the limit to what you can…show more content…
The poem’s plot event is when the parent or teacher that tells the student that “[they] will never learn to fly” (Velazquez 10). This event causes the student to be defiant, to continuously say he will succeed in life and accomplish things despite others’ opinions. This gives the student the strength to prove someone wrong and will not fail; the student will accomplish many things. In Ovid’s myth “Daedalus and Icarus”, all events lead up to Icarus taking his path higher, causing the wax that binds his wings to melt, and “shouting his father’s name /is swept up in the blue sea” (Ovid 47-48), this is why the plot event of the myth is the death of Icarus. Daedalus warns his son to remain in the middle: not too close to the sea, nor too close to the sun. The townspeople look up and are stunned, they can only watch as Icarus falls to his death. The modern poem becomes unique when the plot events of the original myth are changed, the whole perspective is made special; the way the author interprets the
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