Icarus Poetry Analysis

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Authors may use other literary works as a backdrop to help show a message or theme of their own works. In the works “Musee des Beaux Arts,” “Landscape With the Fall of Icarus,” and “To A Friend Whose Work has Come to Triumph,” the authors use the myth of Icarus and Daedalus as this backdrop. Auden, Williams, and Sexton use the myth of Icarus as comparisons in their poems, but for different reasons. The authors, Auden, Williams, and Sexton, allude to this myth in their poems to either show Icarus’ story in its insignificance or in its triumph. In W.H. Auden’s “Musee des Beaux Arts,” he uses the myth of Icarus to show how even though Icarus drowning in the sea may have been a great tragedy, it went unnoticed and the world carries on like nothing happened. Auden first shows how life goes on in the first stanza of his poem with the line “While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking …show more content…
Icarus fell to his death because he was overconfident and flew to close to the sun. Sexton shows Icarus not as arrogant, but as adventurous. She constantly praises him for taking risks. The tone of Sexton’s poem is very lighthearted and happy, unlike the other two poems. Sexton uses the myth of Icarus in a positive way. She shows that what he did was a great and brave thing, the opposite of what Williams and Auden use the myth as. The message of Sexton’s poem is to take risks. Her poem tells the audience that it is better to take risks like Icarus than to not take any risks at all. Taking risks gives one the chance to be great and remembered like Icarus as Sexton states in her final line: “See him acclaiming the sun and come plunging down / while his sensible daddy goes straight into town.” Sexton shows Icarus as great and being remembered for risking everything, while his father does not take any risks and goes straight into town

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