Echo

Mythological Dictionary

There are two major myths which tell how the acoustic phenomenon of the echo arose. According to one, Echo was originally a nymph who rejected the lusty advances of the god Pan. In her flight she was torn apart by shepherds, who have been driven into a panic by the spurned god, Pan. The second version involves the mortal Narcissus. Echo had been condemned by Hera to repeat the last utterance she heard and no more. It was in this state that Echo caught sight of the handsome Narcissus. Narcissus, a youth cold to all love, rejected the amorous advances of Echo, who could now only mimic Narcissus' words. Stung deeply by this rebuff, she hid herself in woods and caves and pined for her love, until all that remained of the nymph was her voice. As for Narcissus, too proud in his beauty, he inevitably called down upon himself the curse of a spurned lover. Narcissus was doomed to be so captivated by his own reflection in a pool that he could not turn away his gaze, even to take food and drink. He wasted away and died. From the spot where he died sprang the narcissus flower. Narcissism has come to mean an obsessive love of oneself. As used in psychoanalysis it is an arrested development at an infantile stage characterized by erotic attachment to oneself. One so afflicted with such narcissistic characteristics is a narcissist. See panic and narcissism.

 
Mythological [1] [2] [3] [4]

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Mythological Dictionary
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