Old English feallan (class VII strong verb; past tense feoll , past participle feallen ) "to fall; fail, decay, die," from Proto-Germanic *fallanan (cf. Old Frisian falla , Old Saxon fallan , Dutch vallen , Old Norse falla , Old High German fallan , German fallen ), from PIE root *pol- "to fall" (cf. Armenian p'ul "downfall," Lithuanian puola "to fall," Old Prussian aupallai "finds," literally "falls upon").
Most of the figurative senses had developed in Middle English. Meaning "to be reduced" (as temperature) is from 1650s. To fall in love is attested from 1520s; to fall asleep is late 14c. Fall through "come to naught" is from 1781. To fall for something is from 1903.
All of this occurs to the viewer before the central event of the painting (as announced in the painting's title) reveals itself to his attention: the splash of a pair of legs as the fallen Icarus plunges into the sea. In the lower right-hand corner of the painting, the painfully splayed legs, their delicate pinkness, are all that we see of the fallen mythological figure. They are caught at that precise instant that this symbol of human pride or hubris is about to disappear forever from the world's attention (ironically, of course, in a world where no one is paying attention). We are the only ones who will ever know. All of the energies of the painting lead away from this disturbing and important event: the plowman and shepherd, oblivious, go about their business, as does the fully-rigged boat (also moving toward the left), sailing away from the fallen figure. .
" J. R. R. Tolkien said that the phrase 'In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit' came to his unconscious mind while marking examination papers; he wrote it on a blank page in an answer book. From that short sentence, one might claim, much of the modern fantasy genre emerged. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings (1954–5) (henceforth LOTR) looms over all the fantasy written in English—and in many other languages—since its publication; most subsequent writers of fantasy are either imitating him or else desperately trying to escape his influence."