Study Guide

Phaeton The Sun

The Sun

The sun is a pretty glaring (literally and figuratively) symbol in this story as well. It's bright, shining, divine, and miles above the heads of the lowly mortals. The mere facts that Phaeton is actually the son of the sun and that he's even able to drive his Dad's chariot for a little while sets him apart from most human beings. (They don't call 'em demigods for nothing!) Still, Phaeton's overreaching does bring about his downfall. And so, the sun remains a symbol of the unattainable, a thing gleaming in the sky that none of us will ever quite reach.

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