The Myth Of Daedalus And Icarus: Concept Of Confidence

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Confidence is a major key to our success, but having a little too much self assurance can be damaging rather than helpful. The myth “Daedalus,” by Jean Lang’s A Book of Myth demonstrates this concept. This myth covers the story of a father and his son who is destined to freedom but eventually overestimated his abilities and failed. Daedalus, the father, and Icarus, the son, are held captive in a tower in which they soon wish to escape. Daedalus, who is an inventor, creates wings out of wood, feathers, and wax in hope this will get them out of the tower and fly to freedom. As everything goes smoothly, Icarus gets too confident in himself and does not listen to his father, and in the end, he hits bottom. Daedalus clearly told Icarus to not fly too high or too low, but being the conceited boy he is, he does not listen. Icarus flies too high, and the sun made the wax start to melt. Icarus soon fell to his death into the water. Icarus aims too high for a goal that he can not reach which leads him to fail. If you try to accomplish too much, you might utterly fail. It is better to accept average success than to risk everything by lying to ourselves and trying to attain glory.

It is essential to be determined, but it is also very important to know that there are limits and it is not possible to reach. Daedalus and Icarus successfully escape the tower, and they take flight. However, during the course of time, Icarus falls. Daedalus has no time to grieve over his son’s death, but flies to safety. He thinks back and realizes, “For only a little while, he had known the exquisite realization of his dreams; for only a few moments, he’d tasted the sweetness of perfect pleasure and then, by an overdaring flight, had lost it all forever” (Lang 4). Daedalus perfectly illustrates the consequences of overwhelming abilities, and now he has lost his son. This displays the idea that there will be negative effects of trying to reach our unachievable goals. In addition, his mortality was an unfortunate event considering that he almost makes it out to freedom but gives it up by his ecstatic feeling in the moment.

On final note, this myth has a tragic plot line but, just like the others, it has a hidden message it conveys. Woefully, this myth shares the lesson through the sudden death of Icarus in which Daedalus tries to teach. However, this misconception indicates that there will be consequences in being smug and not knowing your limits. It informs us to find the center of cocky and wariness and to not overdo it.

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