Narcissus And Echo Analysis

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Ovid’s story telling of Echo and Narcissus myth in Metamorphoses shows how excessive self-love can be destructive and result in loneliness; which Fred Chappell’s poem, “Narcissus and Echo” explores this notion of loneliness corresponding with vanity. In this adaptation, there is a body of water that Narcissus gazes and speaks with while Echo’s voice is only heard as a repeated rhyme which is overlooked by Narcissus. The poem includes imagery from Ovid’s myth including the allusions of the flower and Narcissus’ inability of to live apart from himself. The way the poem is formatted it shows Echo’s words as thoughts or her words are unheard by the main character because he does not respond. The poem is about Narcissus voicing his thoughts as…show more content…
Narcissus believes that his appearance is breathtaking by the continuous gazing and admiration of his looks although he believes his exterior is his only accomplishment in life: “My only belonging/ is my beauty” (4-5). Narcissus displays a great sense of vanity but lacks confidence within himself. In this passage, the expression that he is powerless to becoming significant since his beauty is the only thing he contains in life. Narcissus is heartbroken that he is unable to love himself the way an outside character can: “I live apart/ from myself, yet cannot/ live apart” (9-11). He voices his admiration of himself in a way that he wants to love and take care of himself the way a spouse would. This can also be interpreted as Narcissus appreciating his own beauty because he is his conditioned by his peers, but he cannot fully love himself because he does not accept himself for who he is as a being. At the beginning of the poem, Narcissus is prideful of his appearance although, towards the end of the poem he realizes that he is looking at his reflection and cannot hold a romantic relationship with himself: “the world become cloudswell” (15). In the last line, Narcissus states that his world became dreary and dark due to his discovery that the body of water was showing his
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