While the heroes each have their own stories, there are a number of other myths featuring less prominent protagonists that have become famous, such as the story of Narcissus, who was so vain that he became transfixed upon seeing his reflection in a pond, and stayed staring at it until he died. Other important myths include:
Sisyphus – A trickster who cheated the gods more than once, he is famous for his punishment after death: in the underworld of Hades, he is condemned to forever roll a boulder to the top of a steep hill; and as soon as the boulder reaches the top, it rolls down the far side and he must start again. Tantalus – Tantalus was a favorite of the gods, and invited them to a feast at his home, where he had his own son cooked up and served to them. This was not a good idea. He, too, became famous for his punishment: forever standing in a pool of clean water, with delicious fruits hanging from trees overhead. Yet when he reached for the fruit, the wind tossed the branches out of reach, and when he bent down to drink, the water drained away. Pygmalion and Galatea – Pygmalion was a sculptor who created a statue so beautiful and lifelike that he fell in love with it. Aphrodite took pity on him and brought the statue to life as the woman Galatea. Persephone – The beautiful daughter of Demeter, goddess of the harvest, she was abducted by Hades, who took her to the underworld to be his wife. She was forced to dwell there four months a year, while she could spend the rest of the time on earth. This myth explains the seasons: the winter months are the ones in which she is in Hades. Midas and the Golden Touch – King of Phrygia, Midas found favor with the god Dionysus who offered to grant him whatever he wished. He asked for the power to turn whatever he touched to gold, and then quickly realized his mistake, when everything he tried to eat or drink turned to gold. Prometheus the Fire Thief – He stole the fire of the Zeus and taught mankind how to use it. As a punishment, he was chained to a rock and each day an eagle came and ate out his liver, which was magically restored overnight. Europa – A woman so beautiful that Zeus fell in love with her. He came to her in the guise of a beautiful white bull, and bowed before her. When she climbed on his back, he carried her to a cave where he revealed his true nature. Europe is named after her. Daedalus and Icarus – Daedalus designed the labyrinth on Crete, where king Minos later had him and his son Icarus imprisoned. Daedalus built wings of wax and feathers for himself and his son so they could fly to freedom, but Icarus flew too high and his wax wings melted. He fell and drowned in the Icarian Seas, which was named after him. Orpheus and Eurydice – Orpheus was a great musician. When his love Eurydice died, he went down to the underworld and played his lyre so beautifully that Hades agreed to let Eurydice go, so long as Orpheus agreed not to look on her until they reached the surface. But Orpheus worried that he had been tricked. He looked back only a few feet from the surface, only to see Eurydice be whisked away back to the underworld because he had looked too soon.