Metaphor In Icarus

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“Dad I want to be a professional basketball player,” words I murmured to my dad on several occasions as a young boy. But could I possibly make it happen? Or would I end up just your average basketball player? Turns out not every dream can come true. Just like my dream ended, Icarus, the main character in Edward Field’s poem of the same name, failed to live his mythical dream life and fell to a modern, mediocre life. The poem is based on the Greek myth of Icarus and Daedalus but has been translated to fit the story of modern society. A mythological Icarus figuratively flies too high, only to end up falling back to society, doomed to live as a normal, urban individual. Field uses this myth to show the main character’s adjustment from a dream life, to the modern reality. Field employs a metaphor, irony, as well as imagery to an old Greek myth, in order to translate the story to a modern day description of following and failing your dreams. Wanting to show the contrast between Icarus’s life before and after the fall, Field uses a metaphor which he states twice. He describes Icarus’s life before the crash as one with “arms that controlled huge wings,” and Icarus as one who “compelled the sun.” He was living his mythological dream to the fullest and even had the power to fly to the sun. In contrast, now living his average, suburban life, Field extends the metaphor and states that Icarus “constructs small wings and tries to fly to the lighting fixture.” A drastic change from his old life where he had such great wings that could fly to the sun, he now has trouble even reaching the light in the ceiling above him. The poem compares modern urban life with ancient fantastical myths, contrasting mundane society with a dream world of literatur... ... middle of paper ... ...ays, “He had thought himself a hero, … But he now rides commuter trains.” In the society to which he fell, he was not praised for something with which he could only try to do. One must succeed in order to be remembered. This adds to the irony to create a large contrast to the ancient Greek time period. The poem “Icarus” by Edward Field uses irony, imagery, and metaphor to translate an ancient myth to a modern society, in order to compare and contrast the reactions of the two separate societies. In ancient Greece, Icarus was a hero who died tragically. The poem illustrates that in this new society he is just a forgotten figure. Nowadays, people do not pay attention to those who try and fail. They just become the normal person in society, as the poem illustrates. For me, many people may not even remember that I played basketball. I have just become the normal athlete.
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