The Fall of Icarus

Published: 2021-06-29 07:03:46
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Category: English

Type of paper: Essay

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Both Bruegel and Auden offer unique insight into human apathy and our inherently selfish nature. Bruegel's paintings all portray the ordinary as related to the exceptional. "To read Auden's poem alongside color reproductions of three of Bruegel's best works, then, provides a sharper awareness of both artists as well as a deeper understanding of that theme which is common to both of them" (Kinney 531). Without Bruegel, Auden would have not had a muse when it came to expressing his feelings on the human position. Yet without Auden's poem, written decades later, Bruegel's paintings would perhaps lack some of their quality in an informed viewer's eyes. Auden brought to light the stark and real themes in Bruegel's works. In "The Fall of Icarus", Bruegel focused his entire piece on a plowman, with the legs of Icarus splashing nearby. Auden does the same, enumerating the possible reactions and feelings of the passersby. While the ship sails on, the plowman plows, and the fisherman baits his hook; like Auden walking calmly past Bruegel's works during a cold winter, the nature of predilection in what a person chooses to care about is apparent. In "Musee des Beaux Arts", Auden does not focus on brushstrokes or color palates. He instead realizes that the inherent apathy and utter selfishness of ordinary people is something to be explored. In "The Numbering at Bethlehem", there is no tragedy occurring, but there is still indifference to the arrival of people who will religion for centuries to come. In Bruegel's painting, Joseph, Mary, and their unborn child are treated as equals to mortal man. Bruegel's intention was to elevate man to a higher level of achievement, and Auden agrees. If Mary and Joseph

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