Definitions for icarusˈɪk ər əs
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(Greek mythology) son of Daedalus; while escaping from Crete with his father (using the wings Daedalus had made) he flew too close to the sun and the wax melted and he fell into the Aegean and drowned
In Greek mythology, Icarus is the son of the master craftsman Daedalus. The main story told about Icarus is his attempt to escape from Crete by means of wings that his father constructed from feathers and wax. He ignored instructions not to fly too close to the sun, and the melting wax caused him to fall into the sea where he drowned. The myth shares thematic similarities with that of Phaëton—both are usually taken as tragic examples of hubris or failed ambition—and is often depicted in art. Today, the Hellenic Air Force Academy is named after Icarus, who is seen as the mythical pioneer in Greece's attempt to conquer the skies. Icarus's father Daedalus, a talented and remarkable 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 clew 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. Overcome by the giddiness that flying lent him, Icarus soared through the sky curiously, but in the process he came too close to the sun, which melted the wax. Icarus kept flapping his wings but soon realized that he had no feathers left and that he was only flapping his bare arms, and so Icarus fell into the sea in the area which today bears his name, the Icarian Sea near Icaria, an island southwest of Samos.
The Nuttall Encyclopedia
son of Dædalus (q. v.), who, flying with his father from Crete on wax-fastened wings, soared so high that the sun melted the wax and he dropped into the sea, giving name to that part of it.
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