The story has allure because it's easy to relate to Icarus's lust for risk. It's why teenagers hang onto the bars on the back car of subway trains. The flip side to Icarus's disdain for limits is of course his father Daedalus's forceful, "No. Don't fly too close to the sun, son." It makes for engaging classroom discussion. If you are a teacher, try it out.
There are many versions of the tale. The internet is legion for various versions of out-of-copyright stories. I suggest J.F. Bierlein's translation in his compilation Parallel Myths. It's lean and to the point without eliminating the essential thrust of the story.
By the way -- I suggest reading Theseus and the Minotaur as a companion piece to Icarus and Daedalus. Remember -- it's Daedalus who was forced to build the labyrinth to conceal Minos's monstrous son from the public.
Et. al: The Metropolitan Museum of Art has a drawing by Hendrick Goltzius that depicts the horror of Icarus's recklessness.
|Icarus, from the Four Disgracers, Hendrick Goltzius, 1588|