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Icarus and Helios in Greek Mythology: Background information when reading Icarus

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Icarus

by K. Ancrum

Icarus by K. Ancrum X
Icarus by K. Ancrum
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  • Published:
    Mar 2024, 400 pages

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Isabella Zhou
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Icarus and Helios in Greek Mythology

This article relates to Icarus

Daedalus Forming the Wings of Icarus out of Wax, black-and-white illustration showing Icarus standing in front of his father with one hand stretched over his head The titular protagonist of K. Ancrum's young adult novel Icarus denies that his name is an allusion to the famous character from Greek mythology and reveals that his mother christened him after the scientific name of a beloved fern, Icarus filiformis. Nonetheless, Icarus's denial of this reference only draws more attention to the resonance of his mythological namesake throughout the book.

In the original myth and Ancrum's retelling, Icarus's story is inseparable from his father's. Like the art restorationist Angus in Ancrum's book, Icarus's father in the myth, Daedalus, is an artist. According to Socrates in one Platonic dialogue, Daedalus's sculptures had to be tied down because they so captured the essence of life that they ultimately became alive themselves. Additionally, Daedalus is remembered as a genius inventor, with the ancient Greeks believing, for example, that he created the practice of carpentry. Therefore, like Angus toiling over art materials, frames, paintings, ...

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