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Daedalus and Icarus Study Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. Why does Daedalus come to Crete to begin with? Is it his own fault?
  2. What are a few of Daedalus' most famous inventions? Which do you think is (or was) the most useful? How about the wackiest?
  3. Ancient Greek writers give two possible reasons for why King Minos becomes so angry with Daedalus. Can you name them? Which makes more sense?
  4. What materials did Daedalus use to craft his famous wings? If someone gave you wings made out of these materials, would you use them?
  5. Why did Daedalus tell Icarus to fly at a middle height? Was he being sensible, or an overly protective parent?
  6. Is it better to play it safe or to try to achieve your loftiest, craziest goals? What about this story helps you answer that?
  7. After Daedalus and Icarus take off, who sees them from the ground? What would you do if you saw a similar sight in the sky?
  8. How does Daedalus react when Icarus dies? Does he have an appropriate reaction for a father losing a son?
  9. Why do you think Daedalus decides to build a temple after his son dies? Have you ever distracted yourself from bad news with a big project?
  10. In your opinion, is there anything Daedalus could have done differently to prevent Icarus' death?

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