"Narcissus does not fall in love with his reflection because it is beautiful, but because it is his."
― W. H. Auden
He was Beautiful.
We know he was beautiful. With golden hair and golden skin as dazzling as the flowers he was named for. No – that were named for him.
Pity for Echo
Pity for Echo and love unreturned that makes you ache for futures that will never be.
Vengeance for Echo.
And, is not rejection every person’s right?
Tragic, it may be. Tragic, it is. But love has no obligation to return Not even if your sorrow makes you suffer. Not even as you fade away, a distant echo hanging on the wind.
Vengeance for Echo
He was Cruel
Yes. He was cruel. Youths often are.
But… he did not know her. He did not know any of them.
She thought she loved him, tried to hug him, after just a glance. Followed him through the woods, too shy for more than whispering his own words back at him. Cruelty to a stranger because they are a stranger is no defence. But if you ignore someone else’s wants and needs and boundaries, can you expect kindness from them?
Death for Narcissus
Is that just? He did not ask to be born beautiful. Did not ask for their stares and their desire. Wanted only to be left alone. Echo died. Yes. But that is what she chose. She was sad. Yes. But what was he to do? He did not love her back. Curbed his tongue, in his response, yes. He could have done. But… men can say No too. It’s not his fault he didn’t love her back.
Shame for Narcissus
Yes, and yet that mirror was a curse and trap in one. A trap that you lay. You led him there, to the water. You made him stoop and drink. You smiled, when his eyes caught his own and watched him wither down to nothing on the bank. The way that Echo withered down to wind. And now, we remember that he was beautiful. And vain. And cruel.
We forget that he was young.
His flowers looked beautiful, growing on the bank.
Shame for Nemesis
Shame, and Justice.
Justice for Narcissus.
Insp. the legend of Narcissus who was so beautiful that all who saw him fell in love. Narcissus spurned their advances, including those of a nymph named Echo who wasted away in sorrow. In one version of the legend, Narcissus was cursed to fall in love with his own reflection by Nemesis in vengeance for Echo and either wasted away staring at his face, or drown trying to reach it at the bottom of a pool. With so many modern retellings seeking justice or empowerment for women wronged in Greek myth, this seeks justice for Narcissus who was just as entitled to reject unwanted suitors (and in some accounts harassment) without being cursed for this apparent 'crime'.
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