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Narcissus

Narcissus Narcissus, from whose myth narcissism has been named, was the son of the river god Cephissus and the nymph Liriope. He fell in love with his own image reflected in water, pined away, and was transformed into the flower which bears his name. According to the Roman poet Ovid, the metamorphosis of Narcissus was a punishment for having rejected the nymph Echo, who fell in love with Narcissus but who was unable to speak except by repeating his words. The geographer Pausanias gives another version in which Narcissus fell in love with his twin sister; when she died, he thought he had found her again in his reflection.

Perhaps because of its contribution to debates about the nature of representation and the relationship between what is seen and what is real, the myth has been very popular as a subject in art, both during and since the classical period. About fifty murals depicting Narcissus survive from Pompeii alone. The best-known work from the modern period representing the myth is probably Salvador Dali's Metamorphosis of Narcissus. It is also a significant myth in psychological work. Narcissus' love for his own reflection is the origin of Freud's idea of narcissism as a stage in the development of the ego. Lacan saw primary narcissism as concerned with the creation of awareness of the body as body; he also drew attention to the fragmentation of the body in this myth, with Echo as voice alone, and Narcissus as the gaze. Derrida suggested that Freud was himself Narcissus, the man fascinated by his own image.

Helen King


See also mythology and the body.

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"Narcissus." The Oxford Companion to the Body. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Narcissus (in Roman history)

Narcissus, d. AD 54, secretary of the Roman Emperor Claudius I. A freedman with great influence, he revealed to Claudius the intrigue of Messalina and expedited her death (AD 48). The woman that Narcissus chose for Claudius' next wife was, however, passed over in favor of Agrippina the Younger, who was hostile to Narcissus. After Claudius' death she drove Narcissus to commit suicide. In the course of his lifetime Narcissus amassed a huge fortune.

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Narcissus

Nar·cis·sus / närˈsisəs/ Greek Mythol. a beautiful youth who rejected the nymph Echo and fell in love with his own reflection in a pool. He pined away and was changed into the flower that bears his name.

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"Narcissus." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Narcissus." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/narcissus-1

narcissus

narcissus XVI. — L. — Gr. nárkissos, the termination of which suggests a Mediterranean orig.

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"narcissus." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Narcissus (in the Bible)

Narcissus (närsĬs´əs), in the New Testament, Roman whose household was partly Christian.

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narcissus

narcissusCrassus, Halicarnassus, Lassus •tarsus •nexus, plexus, Texas •Paracelsus •census, consensus •Croesus • narcissus • Ephesus •Dionysus • colossus • Pegasus •Caucasus • petasus •excursus, thyrsus, versus

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"narcissus." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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