Echo and Narcissus: A tale of love, lust and desperation
Nymphs are minor goddesses; they are generally regarded as divine spirits who give life to nature. They are usually depicted as amorous young nubile maidens who love to dance and sing. Chastity is not what you will look for in a nymph, and chastity was never what Zeus looked for in any female, mortal or immortal. Who is Zeus to resist such charm...? Zeus’s the father of all gods was well known for his countless love affairs on earth and heavens alike, and no one knew more of his infidelities than his wife Hera.
One such nymph was Echo. She was blessed with the most beautiful voice in Greek Mythology. In fact her voice was so enchanting that Zeus would have Echo bemuse Hera while he would seize the opportunity to ravish the other nymphs. Hera of course soon realized his trickery and punished Echo. Such an unfaithful husband Zeus was that Hera became just as vicious in her punishments. She punished Echo by depriving her of her voice. Echo would not be able to utter a single sound save by repeating other people’s words.
Echo drama begins later when she falls in love with Narcissus, the handsome but vain son of the Nymph Liriope of Thespia. Echo would follow him everywhere longing to address him but would be unable to speak. While hunting one day Narcissus heard her footsteps and asked “who’s there?” All Echo could do was repeat “Who’s there?” herself. This fruitless dialogue went on until Echo decided to reveal herself and tried to embrace him. Narcissus pushed her back and demanded that she left him alone.
Echo’s unrequited love left her heartbroken. She, from this time on, wondered, lamenting for her non reciprocated emotions. Narcissus didn’t do well either. Teiresias, a clairvoyant of that period of nymphs and semi-deities had predicted that he- Narcissus would “live to a ripe old age as long as he didn’t get to know himself”. One day Narcissus saw his own mirror image in a pond. Not being able to realize it was just a mere image he fell in love with his own reflection and wasted away until death, unable to resist his own beauty.
Cassandra: The prophet of bad tidings
Eros and Psyche: Their separation led to the first love strike
Cassandra, whose name became a synonym of prophet of bad tidings, was the fourth and most beautiful daughter of Priam, the king of Troy.
Harmonia's necklace: The goddess of harmony and unity
Psyche, whose name means soul in Greek was neither a goddess nor a divine creature of mythology. She was just a woman, but an extraordinary woman.
Icarus: The sky was not meant for men
Harmonia in Greek mythology is the goddess of harmony and unity, the exact opposite of Eris. She is the patron goddess of the love that unites all people, the embodiment of order and civic unity.
Oedipus: Living a Freudian nightmare
Icarus was the son of Daedalus, the most talented Athenian craftsman of his time.
Oedipus ( swollen-footed) was the son of Laios and Iokaste, king and queen of Thebes.