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Analysis of a Poem Icarus by Christine Hemp

In the poem “Icarus,” Christine Hemp makes use of literary gadgets to convey that a father-son relationship can be problematic. Hemp pulls a twist on the unique fable, and retells it in Icarus’ perspective. Her model of the myth shows that Icarus wasn’t very fond of his father Daedalus; nevertheless Daedalus didn’t realize that Icarus wished to be free. “bound by the string…for years to untie TO I didn’t know…to return” (#14 and 15 TO sixteen and 17)

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This quote portrays the emotion Icarus feels in course of his father by method of irony.

At this point, the reader understands that Icarus needed to cope with Daedalus with solely the hope of exiting the jail, but once free he longs to be away from his father. Christine Hemp threw a new strand of emotion into the combo by showing that Icarus wanted to be free; as doing so, he triggered a catastrophe. “Poor Daedalus, his mouth an O beneath, his arms outstretched to catch the rain…” (#18 and 19)

This excerpt exhibits diction, which illustrates Daedalus’ innocence with the words ‘poor’ and ‘O below’.

Hemp also tried to show the distinction between Icarus and Daedalus by using asyndeton. “my clumsiness with figures, father’s calm impatience, cool logic, interminable devising.” (#8 and 9)

This shows Icarus’ reasons as to why he doesn’t like Daedalus, and why he tries to be higher than his father. Since Daedalus is clueless, he couldn’t stop Icarus’ demise; now the reader can infer that Daedalus will have a life of sorrow and regret, without understanding the reality.

Hemp’s use of the units diction, irony, and asyndeton assist the reader additional perceive the parable in a way the original myth couldn’t.

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