Tema Dajdala in Ikara v evropski književnosti


  • Maja Tasevski-Paj



Ključne besede:

tematologija, Dajdal, Ikar, evropska književnost, slovenska književnost, literarnozgodovinski pregled


The article deals with the recurrence of the theme of Daedalus and Icarus within European and Slovene literature. It is possible to discern common characteristics in this theme in literary works belonging to various historical periods. Thus in Antiquity authors generally emphasised the relationship between father and son in the mythological tale of Daedalus and Icarus; in the Middle Ages, the character of Icarus was mainly seen in a moralizing light, as an allegory of human vanity and conceit, while the Renaissance bestowed upon Icarus the role of a hero in love songs. In the period between Baudelaire and Joyce, both Icarus and Daedalus were primarily associated with the idea of the modern artist, who contemplates questions of life with great intensity, while the period after 1945 brought about new contextualizations of the mythological tale. Just as in the original mythological tale, subsequent literary portrayals of Daedalus and Icarus generally portray the two characters independently from one another. The difference between them manifests itself primarily through the contrast between youth and old age, and the contrast between the creative nature of poetry, on the one hand, which brings emotions to the fore, and science, on the other hand, which is based on reason. From this perspective, then, the character of Icarus is endowed with enthusiasm, ambition, courage, impetuosity, irrationality and sometimes even madness. He represents an extraordinary individual, who strives for an exalted ideal, which in turn becomes the very reason for his physical demise. He has an ambivalent nature: one can perceive him either as an arrogant figure or a hero. In contrast to Icarus, his father Daedalus is a skilled craftsman and artisan. He represents prudence, balance and reason, while striving for freedom of creation. In Slovene literature, a portrayal of the theme of Daedalus can be found in the poem of Janez Mihelič from the period of Enlightenment, while the character of Icarus appears in the title of one of Kosovel’s poems. Later on, the theme is mainly treated by authors of the nineteen eighties. Thus, Vladimir Gajšek, by way of associations, enumerates the majority of known interpretations of the theme of Icarus; Tone Pavček relates to the character of Icarus through the theme of death and the memory of his dead son; Ciril Zlobec presents the identification of modern man with the negative aspects of the mythological hero’s fate; while Drago Jančar, who deals with the theme of Daedalus and Icarus in two of his plays and one novel, characteristically associates the figures from Antiquity with actual historic characters.


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Biografija avtorja

  • Maja Tasevski-Paj
    Maja Tasevski-Paj je diplomirana literarna komparativistka in sociologinja. Objavljeni članek je del njene diplomske naloge.



23. 07. 2008

Kako citirati

Tasevski-Paj, M. (2008). Tema Dajdala in Ikara v evropski književnosti. Ars & Humanitas, 2(1), 99-120. https://doi.org/10.4312/ars.2.1.99-120