Musee Des Beaux Arts

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"Musee des Beaux Arts" is a complex parallel of the world of 1938. As Adolph Hitler's Death Heads were spreading the Nazi flag onto the heart of Europe, many found it easier to turn their heads and pretend they do not notice or care, than to stop and do something about the suffering of so many Europeans. Inspired by the painting of Pieter Bruegel, "Landscape with Fall of Icarus," Auden's brings to our attention the tragedy of humankind and its position by emphasizing the two major themes of birth and death while life follows its way and goes on. The painting "Landscape with the fall of Icarus" inspired from a Greek myth resembles the tragic ending of Icarus and the carelessness and ignorance of the people witnessing the sad event. Icarus was a Greek mythological figure also known as the son of Daedalus. The myth is about Icarus and Daedalus who were arrested on the island of Crete by the King, and Daedalus constructs wings out of wax so they can fly away and escape from the island. Since the wings were made out of wax Daedalus instructs his son not fly too close to the sea since they will soak into water, but also not too close to the sun since they will melt down. Unfortunately for Icarus he does not follow the instruction and flies too close to the sun and the tragedy strikes and he falls into the water and dies. As he agrees with the "Old Masters," the great painters, he ironically introduces the suffering human condition as a tragic scene "[w]hile someone else is eating or opening the window or just walking dully along" (line 4) the author tries to show how ignoring and selfish people can be sometimes. As a frame to integrate the events he introduces the concept of birth:"How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting For the miraculous birth," (5-6) and also the concept of death depicted by the drowning Icarus. Witnesses to those events the author depicts the ignorance of people: "how everything turns away Quite leisurely from the disaster; the...
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