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Echo and Narcissus

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  • Pages: 3
  • Word count: 548
  • Category: Mythology

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A myth is a story that explains objects in the natural world as resulting from the action of some supernatural force or entity, most often a god. Many cultures have mythological stories in which they attempt to explain the unexplainable. In most cases they have three similar characteristics they tell a story, they explain the unexplainable, and they have a moral. In two popular myths “Echo and Narcissus” and “The Story of Deadalus and Icarus” they both explain the unexplainable.

“Echo and Narcissus” is a myth in which an attempt is made to explain echoes and the flower that grew from Narcissus’s body. Echo is a nymph who was ordinarily pretty. However she was cursed only to repeat words that had been said to her by one of the god’s wife. She grew to love Narcissus but was too shy to ever confront him about her love. One day while he was hunting she finally confessed to him her love in and odd repeated way. Narcissus was so rude and shunning, Echo was ashamed and run off to hide in a cave, eventually withering away and all that was left to remember of her was her voice. Thus creating the origin of echoes. Narcissus still as oblivious as before, broke the heart of another nymph who cried to the heavens. Nemesis, the god of revenge, punished Narcissus to fall in a love that was not returned. Narcissus while hunting came across a pond, he looked down into it and saw his own reflection. Amazed at the beauty before his eyes he vowed never to leave it, and he withered away beside the pond, were the flower that grew after his death was created. In conclusion the moral or lesson of the story is what goes around comes around, because in the end Narcissus died of the same pain he inflicted on Echo.

“The Story of Deadalus and Icaurus” also displays an example of mythology. Deadalus and his son Icarus were restricted to an island baracaded by and land and sea. Homesick for their homeland, Deadalus used feathers and yellow wax to mold a pair of wings for his son and himself. As he gave the wings to his son he told him, “ I warn you, Icarus, fly a middle course: don’t go too low, or the water will weigh your wings down; don’t fly too high or the sun’s fire will burn them.” He was also told to follow his father’s path. At first Icarus did exactly as he was told, until everyone’s gloating and praise went to his head, and he took off to explore. Toward the sun he went, when his wax melted Icarus fell into the sea and died; thus the reason the island was named Icarus and the sea was named the Icarian. The moral of this story is to one should always listen their superior. Had Icarus listened to his father he would not have died. In conclusion “Echo and Narcissus” and “The story of Deadalus and Icarus” both try to explain the unexplainable. The deaths of Echo and Narcissus both have a continental explanation, as does Icarus’s. While they might not be believed to be as true as they once were, they are accepted into today’s society.

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