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The notion of the heroic struggle—of a task to be performed or a difficulty to be overcome by a character of heroic proportions—figures prominently in Homer and other great dramatic writers. These writers emphasized that one’s character is discernible early in life. The hero overcomes himself and restores the proportionality appropriate to his nature. He returns to the right condition; he sets things aright.
For rebuffing Echo’s love, Narcissus was cursed by Aphrodite into falling in love with his own reflection in a pool. Desperately he tried to make contact with himself, and desperately did he waste away and die. Thus appeased, the gods transformed him into a flower that can blossom amidst rocks. Beauty was preserved even as vanity was vanquished. If she had possessed regular speech perhaps he could have understood all that she had meant.
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