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Echo and Narcissus Study Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. Echo claims to love Narcissus. What do you think causes Echo's love? Is it the real thing? Why or why not?
  2. Why do you think Echo continues to love Narcissus in spite of being rejected? Do you feel her actions are justified? Why or why not?
  3. Have you ever felt the same way that Echo does? Or the same way that Narcissus does? If so, how did you act? How would you act if you could go back and do it again? Why?
  4. What does the story of Echo and Narcissus suggest about the role of love in ancient culture? How is our modern understanding of love similar and/or different?
  5. Is it significant that Narcissus finds his downfall in his own reflection? Why or why not? What do you think of your reflection? Does your opinion change from time to time?
  6. At the close of Ovid's version of the story, Narcissus wastes away from lack of nourishment, but in other versions of the myth his character commits suicide. How do these differing endings change your understanding of the myth? Which ending do you prefer, and why?

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