Landscape with the fall of Icarus Braden Ashton

Brueghel's Icarus

This poem carries a lot of comparison. The poet, William Carlos Williams, uses a positive, bright tone, while also using a surprising, sad tone. The poem speaks of springtime drawing near, and a farmer ploughing his field. This depicts a bright, beautiful tone. One would possibly imagine the sun peaking through the clouds, or green plants thriving in the soil. It says," The year awake was tingling near"(Williams/4). This shows a peaceful tone of awakening.

Then the tone changes suddenly. The poet talks about the splash of Icarus as he fell and died in the sea. This sets an abrupt tone. Normally, spring is thought of as a time of birth or rising. When Williams introduces death into the poem, it contradicts the feeling of spring, leaving readers surprised.

It seems that Bruegel painted Landscape With the Fall of Icarus so as to focus more of the landscape of the painting than the death of Icarus. The beautiful sunset, the light reflecting of the ocean, and the mountains in the background distracts viewers from the pair of small legs reaching out of the water.

The song "Burn" from the musical Hamilton is a great alliteration for this poem. In this song, written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, it says,"' You have married and Icarus, he has flown too close to the sun.'" (Miranda).


The story of Icarus begins with his father, Daedalus. Daedalus was known by all as the best architect at that time. Daedalus was living in Crete, where this story is located. At that time, Crete was ruled by King Minos. King Minos was a selfish king. He wanted the perfect prison for his enemies, and went to Daedalus for answers.

Daedalus the Inventor

King Minos

In response to King Minos's request, Daedalus created the Labyrinth. The Labyrinth was an underground maze, made to trap a prisoner. The Labyrinth was unescapable to everyone except Daedalus. In the center of the Labyrinth was the Minotaur, a half man, half bull beast. All who were put into the Labyrinth were eventually killed by the Minotaur.

The Labyrinth

At first, Daedalus respected King Minos, but after the King sentenced Theseus to the Labyrinth, Daedalus knew that King Minos was dangerous. Daedalus advised Princess Ariadne to give Theseus the thread that eventually lead Theseus out of the maze.

When King Minos heard of what Daedalus had done, he imprisoned Daedalus and his son Icarus in a tower. Daedalus knew that the King would kill them, so he had to think of a way to escape. King Minos had control of all of the ships, and the ground was guarded. The only way to escape was by air.

For months, Daedalus and Icarus searched for feathers, and once they had enough, Daedalus crafted two pairs of wings, one for him and one for Icarus. The feathers were held together by a special wax. When the wings were done, Daedalus taught Icarus how to fly with the wings. If the wings got too close to the Sun, the wax would melt and the feathers would fall apart. If the wings got too close to thee ocean, the feathers would get wet.

Finally, Daedalus and Icarus jumped from their tower prison and started to fly. At first all went well, but eventually Icarus, drunk with happiness, got too excited. He started to fly too close to the Sun's hot rays. The wax began to melt off of Icarus's wings. Daedalus warned him that if he did not stop, he would plummet to his death. Icarus ignored him, overjoyed with the feeling of freedom, and eventually his wings fell apart and he fell hundreds of feet down to the ocean. He drowned, and Daedalus could do nothing but watch his son fall and drown.

Daedalus sought refuge at the Court of King Cocalus. With the king's help, Daedalus built a temple for the Greek God Apollo. Daedalus offered up his wings to Apollo. He named the spot that Icarus fell the Icarian Sea, and named a nearby island Ikaria. Daedalus felt guilty, and did until his death.

This story conveys a very strong message. When Icarus disobeys his father's orders and acts foolishly, it ends in his death. If we act foolishly in life, we may end up scarred and in pain. Acting smart and mature, even in uncomfortable or overjoyable

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