The Fall Of Icarus Poem Analysis

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Musee des Beaux Arts; A Poem about Human Suffering Without suffering there could be no joy. In the Musee des Beaux Arts this appears to be the theme. In his poem W.H Auden puts a voice to the happenings of the painting "The Fall of Icarus". The narrator that Auden creates is one that delves in to the realm of human suffering, wasted lives, and the plights presented in the painting. Auden's narrative walks us through the events in the painting one by one highlighting whom is suffering and whom is not. The ordinary everyday people going about their daily lives appear oblivious to what is going on around them. It is accentuated with this line "While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;"[Auden 4]. The ordinary…show more content…
As if the old know about what is happening and care not and the young do not know about what is happening, but still care nothing about it. The narrator speaks about the martyrdom and no matter how horrific and horrible it "must" happen. Although, in the next breath the narrator tells us that it will happen in some place far away and unclean. We can draw parallels between the way the narrator speaks about the painting and television reporters. Images that are just as disturbing and hard to watch that are happening in some place far removed from our own continent and world. "in a corner, some untidy spot" [Auden,11] In a way we ignore these happenings in the same way that the people in the painting are ignoring the hardships befalling others. The phrase out of sight, out of mind has never been truer. The second part of the poem shows the way people are separate. Children are playing, others are working, some are suffering, and life goes on. Is there something more sinister at work here? Are the players in this poem avoiding one another so that they do not have to directly involve themselves in someone else's
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