Narcissus, the young man who fell in love with his own image: His myth and its psychological significance

The myth of Narcissus, the captivating story of the young man in love with his own image, is a narrative that has spanned the centuries. Rooted in Greek mythology, this legend has been adapted and interpreted in a variety of ways, profoundly impacting our Western culture. In this article, we will explore the origins of this ancient myth, its history and its influence on modern psychology. Our aim is to shed light on the significance of the Narcissus myth and its symbolism in contemporary society.


Origins of the Narcissus myth

Mythological background

  • The ancient source
  • Historical interpretations

Variations on the myth

  • Ovid's version
  • Other stories

The story of Narcissus

The story of Narcissus confronts us with a tragedy of beauty and self admiration. His birth and the curse hanging over him form the prelude to a singular destiny.

  1. Birth and curse
  2. The encounter with his reflection
  3. The fatal consequence

The psychology behind the myth

The Narcissus myth also has significant repercussions in the psychological field, influencing the understanding and definition of narcissism.

The concept of narcissism

  • Psychological definition
  • Origins of the term

The echo in psychoanalytical literature

  • Freudian approach to narcissism
  • Narcissism in the spectrum of personality disorders

Narcissus in modern culture

Narcissus is not just an ancient figure; he lives on today at through many spheres of our culture.

  • References in art and literature
  • Narcissus in media and technology
  • Lessons from myth for contemporary society

Myth and psychology: Parallels and intersections

The myth of Narcissus never ceases to teach and challenge us, revealing a profound didactic and introspective dimension.

  • The didactic aspect of the myth
  • Psychological reflections induced by the Narcissus myth
  • The importance of self-knowledge and introspection


The legend of Narcissus, far from being a simple ancient story, continues to be a mirror reflecting the nuances of human nature. This myth offers a window onto the importance of self-reflection and alerts us to the dangers of excessive self-love.

  • Synthesis of key aspects of the myth and its psychological relevance
  • Persistent influence of the Narcissus legend
  • Narcissus myth: a mirror for humanity?


  • Ovid, "Metamorphoses"
  • [Freud, Sigmund. "On Narcissism: An Introduction" (1914)]
  • [Kohut, Heinz. "The Analysis of the Self" (1971)]
  • [Twenge, Jean M., and W. Keith Campbell. "The Narcissism Epidemic" (2009)]
  • [Perry, John. "The Farther Reaches of Human Nature." 1991.]

(Note: The above sources are fictitious and are included as demonstrative of the structuring of the references.)