The Story of Icarus - The Myth
Without getting too buried in the details of Greek mythology, here's a brief recap of the story of Icarus. you can find much more detail on Icarus, Daedalus and all of these mythological characters on Wikipedia, which has an extensive mythology portal.
Icarus was the son of Daedalus. Daedalus was the architect who invented the labyrinth for King Minos, in which Minos imprisoned the Minotaur. There are varying accounts about why he was banished, but it is generally accepted that Daedalus and Icarus were banished to a tower on the island of Crete because Daedalus knew the secret of the labyrinth.
King Minos kept watch over the land and sea routes to prevent their escape, but King Minos was not watching the skies. Daedalus fashioned wings for himself and his son out of wood, feathers, string and wax. After teaching his son how to fly he cautioned him to not get too close to the sun or the wax would melt, and to not get too close to the sea because the sea-foam would saturate the feathers, either way he would crash into the sea and drown. Icarus in fact did gets a bit too intoxicated by the thrill of flight and began to soar closer to the sun, and as his father predicted the wax melted, the feathers fell off, and he crashed into the ocean and perished.