Daedalus is a brilliant inventor—the Thomas Edison of his day. Unfortunately, he angers King Minos, the ruler of the island Crete, and he has to hightail it out of there. Desperate to flee the island, Daedalus uses wax to build some wings for himself and his son Icarus. Daddy Daedalus warns his son to fly at a middle height: the seawater will dampen the wings and the sun will melt them. (Not good either way.)
Icarus heeds his father's advice for a bit, but then he gets cocky. He's having so much fun flying that he forgets the warning and flies too close to the sun. Sure enough, his wings melt, and Icarus plummets into the sea and drowns. Daedalus is (of course) devastated by his son's death, but the show must go on. He flies on to Sicily, where he mourns Icarus and builds a temple in honor of the god Apollo.