The Icarus analogy of “flying too close to the sun” has been applied to:
(1) A person with a type A personality who doesn’t recognise his own limitations, which psychoanalysts attribute to internalisation of the father-son rivalry
(2) A constellation of mental conflicts, the degree of which reflects the imbalance between a person’s desire for success, achievement, or material goods, and the ability to achieve those goals: the greater the gap between the idealised goal and reality, the greater the likelihood of failure.
Daedalus and Icarus were a father and son in Greek mythology who had been imprisoned by King Minos on Crete to prevent their return home. They fashioned wings of feathers and attached them with wax; Icarus, despite his father’s ministrations, flew too close to the sun, melted his wings and fell to his death. The painting The Sun or the Fall of Icarus (Le Soleil, ou la Chute d’Ircare, 1819 was rendered by Merry-Joseph Blondel (1781-1853). It is found on Denon, first floor, Rotonde d’Apollon at the Louvre
Synonym Icarus syndrome