“How bout Icarus? How bout a myth? Icarus? You know Icarus? So I always heard this myth, Icarus and his dad….were imprisoned– I don’t really know why. But, they just worked for the wrong people, anyway they went to prison……. Oh now I remember. His father was an architect– a famous architect back in Greek mythology, and he had built a labyrinth for the king or whatever back then– the emperor. But they locked him up though, after he built it, they locked him up cause they didn’t want him telling anybody the key to the labyrinth, they wanted it to be secret. They were afraid that if he were out in the public, he would tell people how to escape from it and I guess it was meant to…um, keep people in. So he was shut up in a tower with his son, Icarus, and but he was a really skilled guy and they were up in a tower and they had windows around them but they couldn’t get out because it was so high up, but the birds would fly around and sometimes feathers would drift in. So they spent– Icarus’ dad had an idea that they could use the wax from their candle if they collected enough feathers, they could maybe make wings to fly out of the tower. So they collected– every time the birds flew around they collected all the feathers that fluttered into, um, their prison, at the top of the tower, and they finally collected enough that they were able to create these wings. But Icarus’ dad said, “Listen, these are made out of wax and, you know, you see the candles, and when wax gets hot it melts and so when we fly out of here you cannot fly too close to the sun. You must stay low. Follow me, follow me. And so, Icarus, the day came and they’re very excited to jump out of this tower and fly away from their imprisonment. And Icarus’ dad says another time, “Don’t fly too close to the sun….or you’ll fall.” So they start out and they’re doing wonnnderfully, they’re flying out of it and it’s exhilarating and so exciting and, um, Icarus is following his father, but he just gets so carried away with being able to fly that he starts kinda flying around his father, and then he gets a little higher and then goes down a little bit, then he gets a little higher again and he comes down and he keeps getting a little higher and his father is saying, “Icarus, don’t fly too close to the sun!!” And… Icarus starts to lose a few feathers….and the wax gives way on his wings… and the feathers fall off of his wings and he plummets to the earth and dies. Cause he flew too close to the sun. So the message is, he indulged– what is it– he indulged his whimsy which led to his demise.”
I had heard the myth of Icarus before, but it was nice to get a refresher. This tale follows the traditional structure of a Greek myth. You have an individual pushing his abilities and boundaries to unattainable levels. The individual is then punished for his excessive ambition.