The key with both myth and gossip is that it doesn’t matter if it is historically true or not. The story is not told out of a desire to impart history. It is told out of a desire to explain the moral universe.
That might seem like a giant claim for something as petty as gossip, but think about the motivation of the gossip teller. They are attempting to back up their version of right and wrong by illustrating it with a story about someone else doing bad. They don’t really care if the person really did the bad thing, the care that their idea of good and bad is known.
Myth is no different. A myth such as this one, the story of Icarus flying to close to the sun, is about him trying to be like the gods, being prideful and being filled with chutspah. It isn’t about if it really happened or not. Whether the ancient greek stories, the bible stories or others from the past, the ideas are what are important, not the historical veracity of the story.
quote by Stanislaus Lec