The ancient Greeks today are considered teachers of the whole Old World. They laid the foundations of science, sport, democratic state system, art and literature. Many of their knowledge came to us through ancient myths, which explained the universe and the order of things, coincidence of circumstances and other inexplicable facts. Very interesting is the myth of Narcissus, which we will consider in our article.
Summary of the myth
So, the myth of Narcissus. Briefly, its content can be recounted as follows: a young man fell in love with his own reflection and died, unable to tear himself away from contemplation of himself in the water, even in order to eat. At the place of death a young man grew a flower from the body of the young man, who was also handsome and leaned down. He was named after the boy and was considered a symbol of death, a dream from which you can wake up in a different guise, oblivion, but also as a symbol of resurrection. But in fact, the myth of Narcissus
is much more complicated.
Narcissus was a very handsome boy, the son of a nymph named Liriope and the river god Kefiss. When the boy was born, the prophet Tiresias told his parents about his future. He was destined to live a long and happy life, but in the event that he never sees his reflection. Since there were no mirrors then, the parents were calm.
But time passed. Narcissus grew up a guy of amazing appearance, into which girls and women fell in love without memory. Even the representatives of the stronger sex paid attention to the handsome man. But he remained indifferent and repelled everyone. Rejected fans called on the Olympic gods for help and tearfully asked to punish the proud. As the ancient myths go on, the goddess of justice Nemesis listened to their pleas, and Narcissus saw his face in the river mirror. The old prophecy immediately came true: the youth burned with a passion for his own reflection and died, unable to move away from the water.
The Unfortunate Echo
The myth of Narcissus tells not only about the sad fate of a beautiful young man, but also about the nymph Echo.
Many of the boys and girls dried up from the love of Narcissus and, pushed away by a proud handsome man, raised their hands to the sky, praying for revenge. Among them was the nymph Echo.
Her fate is especially tragic. Once she was the friend of Hera (Juno), her trusted companion. The terrible goddess trusted her, as to herself. But Echo accidentally learned about the adventures of Zeus (Jupiter), the wife of Hera, and hid them from her mistress. The angry hostess Olympus drove away the nymph, and also took away her voice. The girl could only repeat the last words spoken by someone. She could only be saved by love, and she was searching diligently for the second half.
Love line Narcissus – Echo
According to the myths of Ancient Greece, Narcissus is a handsome and proud guy who did not like any woman. When he met the nymph Echo, she did not make an impression on him either. The girl, on the contrary, became very passionate. She followed him until her body withered, and only her voice remained. But the young man did not pay attention to her anyway. Then the nymph bent her hands to heaven and cursed the guy, wishing that the one whom Narcissus would finally love, also remained indifferent to him.
Love did not bring happiness nor Echo, which disappeared from the face of the earth, leaving her only his voice – a tip, echo, or Narcissus. The display in the river could not reciprocate, even if it wanted to.
The myth of Narcissus is not just a story of unrequited love. It carries a hidden meaning, condemnation, but also regret. A young man is gifted by the gods with rare beauty, but he is a toy in the hands of fate. He saw the outer beauty, even his own (Narcissus did not know that he saw his face in the river), and forgot about everything. The guy does not try to find inner beauty, to see the soul. Perhaps if he tried to do this, he would understand that man is both the soul and the body, he would find himself, his self. Narcissus really suffers the way the girls in love with him suffered, but he can not or does not want to take itself in hands. He remains weak-willed, preferring longing and suffering, the death of the struggle for his own happiness.
Echo – exhausted, disappointed. She could not resist Zeus and concealed from Hera his adultery. This she betrayed her friend, for which she received punishment. But her lot seems very difficult: she lost herself, but she could not find solace in love. Nymph also saw only visible beauty, only the outer gloss, and therefore was doomed.
From the body of the dead Narcissus rose an amazing flower. His touching petals and incredible aroma were conquered at first sight, but also brought sadness. Perhaps, therefore, the plant was considered a symbol of death, of dead people, a sign of sadness. But the flower, which received the name of the hero of ancient myths, is also the embodiment of resurrection, the triumph of life over the kingdom of the gloomy Aida. And, probably, because people grow daffodils in their own gardens and flower gardens, and he pleases them with their rare beauty, blooming, just when the snow comes and the sun warms the earth with its rays.