Sextons Transformation of Ovids Myth
A young boy dies, who’s to blame? Daedelus and Icarus may be considered a tragic myth to some. Ovid’s myth, Ovid’s Metamorphoses: Daedelus and Icarus, gives a full analysis of the story. On the other hand, Sexton wrote a sonnet in order to teach a friend a lesson. Sexton transforms the myth by changing the focus, tone, and structure.
Sexton’s focus on the poem is completely different than Ovid’s. In the original myth, Ovid includes the full backstory as well as a plethora of details. The two have a completely different outlook on the young Icarus. In the primary story, Ovid depicts Icarus as a “Foolish child that is bold in vanity” (Sexton 349-350). Conversely, Sexton interprets Icarus as a “Innocent child who is doing quite well” (Sexton 7). Sexton begins her poem using Icarus as an example of what not to do starting the sonnet off with “Consider Icarus” (Sexton 1). On one hand Sexton focuses on Icarus; on the other hand, Ovid focuses predominately on Daedelus. Ovid gives the reader the entire backstory on Daedelus’s exile and explains what happens to Daedelus after Icarus’s death. The portrayal of the characters helps Sexton transform the myth by showing how ones boldness can lead to their downfall.
The tale of Icarus and Daedelus in changed completely because of the different structures. Ovid writes the myth with every small detail; however, Sexton writes the story in sonnet form. Sexton’s 14 line poem eliminates a large amount of details, such as the back story. She makes her poem straight forward to convey the message more quickly. Sextons poetic structure has rhyme which builds a sarcastic tone. Sextons structure gets the reader to believe that Icarus was truly Innocent. Sexton gives the message that as quick as one can receive fame, one can lose it.
The center of attention, the attitude, and the form of the myth is changed by Sexton. The theme is relevant in society because it shows how one can lose it...
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