Narcissus was a hunter in Greek mythology, son of the river god Cephissus and the nymph Liriope. He was a very beautiful young man, and many fell in love with him. However, 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, and wilted away until 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 behaviour. She led him to a pool; there, the man saw his reflection in the water and fell in love with it. Although he did not realise in the beginning that it was just a reflection, when he understood it, he fell in despair that his love could not materialise and committed suicide. According to legend, he turned into the flower that bears his name, the narcissus.
Although the story of Narcissus is often seen as a warning against excessive vanity, there is a lesson to be learned from it as well. Namely, that we should be careful not to become too absorbed in our own image and lose sight of the things that truly matter.
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