Echo & Narcissus

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UNIT 6 LESSON 6.3: Echo and Narcissus WORD BANK bellus/bella—beautiful parvus/parva—little sonorus/sonora—loud tacitus/tacita—silent solus/sola—alone serenus/serena—tranquil placidus/placida—peaceful frigidus/frigida—cold famelicus/famelica—hungry sitiens/sitiens—thirsty magnus/magna—much iratus/irata—angry mortuus/a—dead laetus/laeta—happy miser/misera—miserable Choose a Latin adjective from the word bank for each blank. Be sure to use the correct ending depending on whether the noun is feminine (f) or masculine (m). There was once a ____ (f) nymph named Echo who was known for her love of talking, singing and gossiping. Echo was wandering the woods when she came upon Jupiter hanging out with other nymphs. ____ (f) Echo knew that Juno was searching for her ____ (m) husband Jupiter and would not be happy to find him there. Jupiter asked Echo to distract his wife and who could refuse ____ (m) Jupiter’s requests? Not Echo! So, Echo went to chat with Juno until finally Juno realized that Echo was trying to distract her! Juno was so ____ (f) that she took away most of Echo’s voice, leaving her with only the ability to mimic a sound she heard. Juno left Echo in a very ____ (m) state. What was Echo to do without her voice? Then Echo noticed the most ____ (m) boy she had ever seen, Narcissus. Narcissus wandered away from his friends through the ____ (f) woods. Echo fell in love with him instantly and followed him, but hid behind trees and bushes because she was ashamed of her inability to talk on her own. Echo longed to call out to Narcissus , but remained silent until he realized he had lost his friends. He called out, “Is anyone here?” “Here,” replied Echo from behind a bush. Narcissus was astonished to hear a ____ (f) voice without seeing anyone around and shouted “Come to me!” “Come to me!” Echo echoed. Since no one appeared he asked, “Why are you hiding from me?” And again she asked, “Why are you hiding from me?” Finally, he stood still and called “Here, let's meet together.” “Together!” Echo exclaimed as she burst from the woods and flung her arms around him. But seeing ____ (f) Echo, Narcissus jumped back and 56

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shouted at her, " Don’t touch me! I’d rather die than let you have my heart.” And Echo answered sadly, “You have my heart!” After this, Echo was so ____ (f) that she wandered the woods, hiding her face in the leaves of the trees and in caves. She was so sad, her body vanished into the air. All that remains is her voice, which you can still hear her when you visit a cave or cliff. Narcissus also met a ____ (m) end. He wandered through the woods until he got thirsty and stopped to drink some water from a ____ (f) pool. As he bent down to drink the ____ (f) water, he caught a glimpse of his reflection and was stunned by his own beauty. As time passed, he fell more and more in love with himself. He hung over the water for the entire day, then a week, a month, a year, without eating or drinking! He was very ____ (m) and ____ (m) but his love prevented him from leaving. Narcissus was nearly ____ (m) when Jupiter passed by and took pity on him, turning him into a white flower bending over the water. CULTURAL CONNECTION In Mexico, there is an Aztec myth that explains the existence of two major volcanoes, Iztaccíhuatl and Popocatepetl. The Aztecs were a powerful people possessing a vast empire (c. 1342—1521 CE) that dominated the majority of the Valley of Mexico. The myth of Iztaccíhuatl and Popocatepetl takes place when the Aztecs were waging war against one of their fiercest enemies. The Aztec princess, Iztaccíhuatl, was the most beautiful in all the land and she had fallen in love with Popocatepetl, a handsome and strong warrior. Before being sent to war, Popocatepetl asked for Iztaccíhuatl’s hand in marriage. Her father promised Popocatepetl that he would welcome him back with a huge engagement party if he returned victorious from war. So Popocatepetl left. While he was away, one of his jealous rivals lied to Iztaccíhuatl, saying that Popocatepetl had died in battle. Heartbroken and distraught, Iztaccíhuatl died of sadness. When Popocatepetl returned, he heard of his princess’ tragic fate. In order to honor her, he ordered that a tomb be built as close to the sun as possible by piling ten hills together to make a huge mountain. Popocatepetl took his love to the top of the mountain and lay her to rest there, staying beside her with a torch. Eventually, snow covered both their bodies and formed two volcanoes that would be joined together eternally. 57

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UNIT 6 Narcissus is believed to be the son of a Greek river god and a nymph. Some say the myth derives from the ancient Greek superstition that seeing one’s own reflection was unlucky (or even deadly!). Can you think of any other myths that warn you against doing something? These stories are sometimes called “fables” in English, which comes from a Latin word we’ve seen before. DISCUSSION QUESTIONS Answer and discuss the following questions about the myth of Echo and Narcissus. How did Echo lose her voice? Why was Juno mad at Jupiter? Who did Narcissus love? How do you think Echo feels about her situation? How would you feel if you were Echo? What does it mean to be a narcissist? What is a Latin derivative that we've discussed that is similar? What is the difference between self-esteem and narcissism? Can you think of any other story that warns you against doing something? This story, like the story of Ceres and Proserpina, explains two natural phenomena—what are they? ZOOM IN From the myth of Narcissus, we get the word narcissistic, meaning self-centered or vain. The Harry Potter character Narcissa Malfoy gets her name from the same root. She allies with Voldemort and is proud of being a “pure-blood.” Why do you think she was given this name? 58