Irony In Edward Field's 'Icarus'

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Edward Field’s “Icarus” expands on the theological myth of Daedalus and Icarus, but in a decidedly contemporary way. The author cleverly utilizes irony, diction, and the setting to show how our “hero” adapts to his catastrophic failures and acclimates to a 20th century life.
Icarus is contrasted with his mythological past when the speaker highlights what originally happened before he so abruptly existed in the common economy of the second millennium. He employs, “Only the feathers floating around the hat showed that anything more spectacular had occurred”. The irony here portrays how apathetic society is towards other’s struggles. Both civilizations of the mythological past and contemporary society are similarly flawed in that when witnesses who saw Icarus misfortune ignored what occurred and ran off to “gang war”; a brutal satire of inner-city life.
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In the first stanza, Field sets the stage for Icarus’ tragic death---a completely different world compared to the second stanza’s setting of modern life and general malaise. The first stanza explains the myth of Icarus through environment of a crime scene and of the aftermath thereof. Stanza two ironically deprives the myth of Icarus to a monotonous and unexplainably mind-numbing situation when compared to his former glory. The last stanza depicts Icarus lost prestige and splendor as a wound that he “probes” at, and daily tries to rebuild wings to escape his modern day prison, but to no avail.
Edward Field’s “Icarus” very uniquely depicts a myth that is intermingled with a twentieth century providence. The differences and similarities between the two societies define Icarus and even show how often history can repeat itself. The tone, diction, and setting Field uses in “Icarus” most importantly serves as an interpretation of myth to modern. The lack of capacity and intrepidity from Icarus’ society can also be an instance in our current
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