Word of the Week: Narcissism

Narcissism is a noun and is defined as a love of or sexual desire of one’s own body.

Narcissism is one of the many words in the English language that has its roots in Greek mythology. In this case, the word narcissism derives from the story of the handsome warrior Narcissus written by the Roman poet Ovid in his epic poem Metamorphoses

Narcissus was a hunter from Thespiae known for his beauty. As a child, a Seer predicted that Narcissus would live a long life as long as he never saw himself. One day while hunting in the forest, Narcissus was separated from his fellow hunters. While trying to find his way, a nymph named Echo spied on him. Sensing he was being followed, Narcissus called out for help. However, the nymph Echo could only repeat his cries. As Echo spied on Narcissus, she fell in love with the lost hunter and ran to him, but Narcissus rejected her advances. Echo was heartbroken, but the goddess of revenge Nemesis learned about what happened and decided to punish Narcissus. The goddess lured the lost and thirsty hunter to a pool of water and when Narcissus bent down to drink from the pool he discovered his own reflection and immediately fell in love with it. Unable to remove his gaze, Narcissus died looking at himself. 

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Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, s.v. “narcissus.”
Narcissus (mythology)

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