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Echo's Place in Mythology

In Greek Mythology Echo was a beautiful forest nymph.  She had a striking speaking voice that she loved dearly.  Echo was a wonderful story teller and she could not restrain herself from talking endlessly.

Zeus, the king of the gods was famous for his many love affairs.  Zeus was drawn to the forest where he loved to ravish the forest nymphs.  When Zeus' spouse, Hera suspected something amiss she came looking for Zeus.  Echo began protecting her friends and Zeus by distracting Hera.

Echo would distract Hera with long entertaining stories.  With Hera distracted, Zeus could safely make his get-a-way.  But Hera eventually discovered the deception and punished Echo by taking her voice away.  She was allowed only to repeat the shouted words of others. 

Later Echo fell in love with with a beautiful young man named Narcissus.  Narcissus was said to be as lovely as Apollo with a perfect body and long flowing curly hair.  But Narcissus scorned Echo.  Narcissus fell in love with his own reflection and could not stop admiring his own beauty.  Echo watched Narcissus waste away doing nothing but staring at his reflection in a pond.  With her heart aching for Narcissus,  Echo also wasted away. 

Echo died of a broken heart, but her spirit still haunts the earth.  You can often hear her spirit answering when you shout.  





Alexander Cabinel's Echo