amongst the myths I

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The origin of love

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Narcissus, Νάρκισσος

‘That day I oft remember when from sleep
I first awaked, and found myself reposed
Under a shade on flowers, much wondering where
And what I was, whence thither brought, and how
Not distant far from thence a murmuring sound
Of waters issued from a cave, and spread
Into a liquid plain, then stood unmoved
Pure as the expanse of heaven; I thither went
With unexperienced thought, and laid me down
On the green bank, to look into the clear
Smooth lake that to me seemed another sky.
As I bent down to look, just opposite
A shape within the watery gleam appeared,
Bending to look on me. I started back;
It started back; but pleased I soon returned,
Pleased it returned as soon with answering looks
Of sympathy and love. There had I fixed
Mine eyes till now, and pined with vain desire,
Had not a voice thus warned me: ‘What thou seest,
What there thou seest, fair creature, is thyself.’

Paradise Lost, Book IV

The idea of fall, whether Edenic or Icarian…

‘Till swoll’n with cunning of a self conceit,
His waxen wings did mount above his reach
And melting, heavens conspired his overthrow’

Christopher Marlow, Dr. Faustus, prologue

‘Meanwhile the heat of sun struck at his back 
And where his wings were joined, sweet-smelling fluid 
Ran hot that once was wax. His naked arms 
Whirled into wind; his lips, still calling out 
His father’s name, were gulfed in the dark sea. 
And the unlucky man, no longer father, 
Cried, “Icarus, where are you, Icarus, 
Where are you hiding, Icarus, from me?” 
Then as he called again, his eyes discovered 
The boy’s torn wings washed on the climbing waves. 
He damned his art, his wretched cleverness, 
Rescued the body and placed it in a tomb, 
And where it lies the land’s called Icarus’
Ovid’s Metamorphoses – Book VIII

Sisyphus,Σίσυφος, Sísyphos

The headless body


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