Meet the Narcissus Myth: In Love With Yourself

14/04/2021

     The Narcissus Myth was one of the most told Stories in Greek Mythology because it is a beautiful young man who, when looking at his reflection in the water, falls in love. Get to know the complete history.

Narcissus in Greek Mythology:

     Narcissus, in Greek Mythology, was a hero of the territory of Thespias, Boeotia, famous for his beauty and pride. On the day of his birth, the diviner Tiresias predicted that Narcissus would have a long life as long as he never contemplated his own figure. Its Roman equivalent is Valentine; although he is underrepresented, and commonly mistaken for Cupid.

     Narcissus had a twin sister. Both dressed in the same way and wore the same type of clothes and hunted together. Narcissus fell in love with her. When she died, Narcissus was consumed with disgust for her and pretended that the reflection he saw in the water was her sister. Where her body was, there was only one flower left: the daffodil.


The Punishment of Narcissus:

     According to Ovid, Narcissus was a young man fully endowed with beauty. His parents were the god of the river Cefiso and the nymph Liríope. Days before his birth, his parents decided to consult the oracle Tiresias to find out what the boy's fate would be. And the oracle's revelation was that he would have a long life, as long as he never saw his own face.

     Narcissus grew up to be a handsome young man from Boeotia, who aroused love in both men and women, but was very proud and had an arrogance that no one would break break. Even the nymphs fell in love with him, including a so-called Eco who loved him unconditionally, but the boy despised her. The scorned girls asked the gods to avenge them. To teach the frivolous boy a lesson. The goddess Nemesis condemned him to fall in love with his own reflection in the lagoon of Echo. Enchanted by his own beauty, Narcissus lay on the bank of the river and withered, looking at himself in the water and beautifying himself. After his death, Nemesis transformed him into a flower, the Narcissus.

Even at his death, he tried to see in the waters of the Styx the features he had fallen in love with.


Narcissism:

     Narcissism has its name derived from Narcissus and both derive from the Greek word narke (numb), where the word narcotic also comes from. Thus, for the Greeks, Narcissus symbolized vanity and insensitivity, since he was emotionally numb to requests that fell in love with his beauty. But Narcissus does not only symbolize mere negativity:

"The Narcissus myth represents the drama of individuality; it shows the depth of an individual who becomes aware of himself."

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