Daedalus and Icarus

If the Labyrinth symbolizes the Palace of Knossos and all its architectural complexity, then its creator – Daedalus, the wise engineer and craftsman – stands for the amazing technical feats the Minoans achieved.

Daedalus and Icarus Fleeing the island, Theseus took Ariadne with him. Once Minos discovered the role that Daedalus had played in their escape, he gave orders for him and his son Icarus to be thrown into the Labyrinth. Father and son were thus condemned to be buried alive. Their only safety lay in flight from Crete too – a difficult matter: even if one got out of Labyrinth, the seas were all under Minos’ control.

However, Daedalus’ cunning even now found an angle to work with. Minos may have been king on land and sea, but... not of the air! Daedalus fashioned wings from bird-feathers for himself and his son – fastening them to their shoulders with wax. Off they flew towards icily – and safety! At the start, Icarus remembered his father’s instructions – and flew along at a sensible height.

But, being but a youth, kit was not long before he was tempted to fly higher and higher. Daedalus, in front, did not notice his son’s recklessness. As Icarus flew closer to the sun – the inevitable happened: the wax melted, the wings dropped off – and Icarus plunged to his death in the cold seas below.

Though overwhelmed by grief, Daedalus flew on – over what became called the Icarian sea – and arrived in Sicily. Where he lived out his days.

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