Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Dramaturge's Corner: Who is Echo?

According to Greek mythology Zeus, the King of the Olympians, was known for his many love affairs. Sometimes the young and beautiful nymph Echo would distract and amuse his wife Hera with long and entertaining stories, while Zeus took advantage of the moment to ravish the other mountain nymphs. When Hera discovered the trickery she punished the talkative Echo by taking away her voice, except in foolish repetition of another's shouted words. Thus, all Echo could do was repeat the voice of another.

Ovid's version of the tale states that a girl who had also fallen in love with Narcissus made a prayer to the gods, asking that Narcissus suffer from an unrequited lust just as he had done to others. The prayer was answered by the goddess Nemesis - (she who ruins the proud), makes him fall in love with his own reflection so he stares at himself in the river (as he thinks it is a beautiful person underwater) until he turns pale and eventually dies.

Alternatively, Echo was a nymph who was a great singer and dancer and scorned the love of any man. This angered Pan, a lecherous god, and he instructed his followers to kill her. Echo was torn to pieces and spread all over the Earth. The goddess of the earth, Gaia, received the pieces of Echo, whose voice remains repeating the last words of others. In some versions, Echo and Pan had two children: Iambe and Iynx

Don't miss Timberlake Wertenbaker's Echo in The Love of the Nightingale running May 3-29.

Tickets are available through our website!

No comments: