Asked in Allusion and InnuendoStarsThe Sun
What does the allusion to fly too close to the sun mean?
August 20, 2012 4:58PM
It comes from the Greek mythical story of Icarus and Daedalus. Daedalus was the father of Icarus and both were imprisoned by a king in ancient Greece. Daedalus was a brilliant engineer and fashioned wings out of bird feathers and wax for each of them to fly over the prison walls to freedom. Although Daedalus warned Icarus not to fly too high, Icarus was tempted and flew high in the sky. The wax in his wings melted and he fell into the river or sea, I forget which, and died. I think people say "don't fly too close to the sun" to mean that when you are taking a risk, even when things seem to be going well, don't get overconfident or ignore warnings. Or it could be said to allude to someone's downfall at a moment of glory.
I believe it also alludes to humanity as a whole trying to move too far past their limitations and becoming arrogant because of it, believing they can accomplish anything by relying too much on technology and in that sense there is a point in that progress where we must stop or we will lead ourselves closer to self destruction.