Who Was Narcissus in Greek Myth?
Narcissus, in Greek myth, a Laconian hunter from Thespiae in Boeotia was the son of a minor river god Cephissus and the water nymph Leiriope. Narcissus was proud, in that he disdained those who loved him, causing some to take their own life to prove their devotion to his striking beauty. Narcissus is the origin of the term narcissism, a fixation with oneself and one’s physical appearance or public perception.
He was extremely beautiful and the Oread nymph Echo fell in love with him. Hardhearted Narcissus rejected all lovers, he only showed them disdain and contempt. One day, while he was hunting in the woods, the Oread nymph Echo spotted him and immediately fell for him. When Narcissus sensed that someone was following him, Echo eventually revealed herself and tried to hug him. However, he pushed her off and told her not to disturb him. Echo, in despair, roamed around the woods for the rest of her life, gradually faded away with grief, until nothing but her voice was left, all it remained of her was an echo sound.
Nemesis, the goddess of retribution and revenge, learned what had happened and decided to punish Narcissus for his behavior. She led him to a pool; there, the man saw his reflection in the water and fell in love with it. So intense was his self-love that he could not tear himself away from water. Although he did not realize in the beginning that it was just a reflection, when he understood it, he fell in despair that his love could not materialize and he wasted away, until he was changed into flower named after him.