In Greek mythology, Echo (or Ekho) was a mountain nymph of Mount Cithaeron in Boiotia. Due to her talkativeness, she was given the task to distract Zeus wife Hera so that Zeus could freely enjoy his love affairs with the other Nymphs.The goddess Hera discovered Echo’s deceit and cursed her with the voice of the echo, to only repeat the last words of what was said before, as punishment for distracting her with chatter.
Echo fell in love with a vain youth named Narcissus, who was the son of the Nymph Liriope of Thespiae. Echo often waited in the woods to see Narcissus hoping for a chance
to be noticed. One day as she lingered in the bushes he heard her
footsteps and called out “Who's here?” Echo replied “Here!” Narcissus
called again "Come", Echo replied "Come!". Narcissus called once more
“Why do you shun me?... Let us join one another.” Echo was overjoyed
that Narcissus had asked her to join him. She longed to tell him who she
was and of all the love she had for him in her heart but she could not
speak. She ran towards him and threw herself upon him.
Narcissus became angry “Hands off! I would rather die than you should
have me!” and threw Echo to the ground. Echo left the woods a ruin, her
heart broken. Ashamed she ran away to live in the mountains yearning
for a love that would never be returned. The grief killed her. Her body
became one with the mountain stone. All that remained was her voice
which replied in kind when others spoke.
|Echo and Narcissus|
According to other version of the Echo and Narcissus story depicts that Narcissus later came to a still pool and caught sight of his own reflection. He became enamored of his own beauty and didn't realize that he was looking at himself. Any words of love he would mutter to his reflection Echo would repeat around him. From then he either withered until he became a narcissus, still bending over to look at himself, or he realized that he loved his own image which resulted in Narcissus killing himself out of despair with his hunting knife. From the drops of his blood were spawned the first narcissi.
|Echo and Narcissus|
According to some versions Echo lived in the woods and denied the love of any man or god. Pan, a lecherous god, fell in love with Echo, but she ran away from him. He became so angry when she refused him he created such a "panic" causing a group of shepherds to kill her. Echo was torn to pieces and spread all over the Earth.The goddess of the earth, Gaea, received the pieces of Echo, whose voice remains repeating the last words of others. In some versions, Echo and Pan had two children: Iambe and Iynx.
|Echo and Narcissus |
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