Narcissus and Echo

Echo was a nymph who loved a youth named Narcissus. She had been cursed by Hera to only be able to repeat the last words said by others. Echo tried to approach Narcissus but she was rejected. She was left heartbroken and her life wasted away until nothing was left expect an echo sound. As punishment for his pride, Narcissus fell in love with his own reflection and spent his days in longing until he died. After his death, Narcissus was transformed into a flower.



“Echo, thou who reignest in the inmost recesses

of the caves.”

Mythology Meme: (2/6) Muses and or Nymphs ➝ “Echo”
in Greek mythology, a mountain nymph, or oread. Echo offended the goddess Hera by keeping her in conversation, thus preventing her from spying on one of Zeus’ amours. To punish Echo, Hera deprived her of speech, except for the ability to repeat the last words of another. Echo’s hopeless love for Narcissus, who fell in love with his own image, made her fade away until all that was left of her was her voice.

greek mythology/myth picspam series >> echo and narcissus

“One could only be the reflection of other people’s words, and the one could only pay attention to one reflection: his own. None could conquer what they wished for, the love of someone untouchable. Love and grief, when combined, kill the victim slowly, without mercy. Echo’s spirit will talk back to those who visit the mountain where she once lived until the end of days, and those who wander the lake will swear they could see someone staring back at them.”

When she saw Narcissus roam alone in the woods
she was excited at once and secretly trailed,
and the closer she followed the hotter she grew,
as when sulfur is daubed at the top
of a torch and snatches the dancing flames.

Jane Alison, author of Change Me: Stories of Sexual Transformation from Ovid discusses what sex, relationships, and love were like for teenagers in ancient Rome.

Image: Echo and Narcissus, John William Waterhouse. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.


John William Waterhouse (1849–1917, England)

Scenes from mythology

Waterhouse was an English painter known for working in the Pre-Raphaelite style, as well as being one of the last exponents of this aesthetic. His artworks are known for their depictions of women from both ancient Greek mythology and Arthurian legend.