Preview
Preview

Greek Mythology in Thomas Mann's Death in Venice Essay example

:: 4 Works Cited
Length: 1330 words (3.8 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Purple      
Open Document
Need writing help? Check your paper »



- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Thomas Mann alludes to Greek mythology throughout his novella Death in Venice. One
of the Greek mythological themes alluded to in Death in Venice is the struggle known as
Apollonian vs. Dionysion. Thomas Mann was strongly influenced by the philosopher Friedrich
Nietzsche and his teachings on the Apollonian vs. Dionysion struggle. According to Nietzsche’s
teachings every individual contains characteristics from both Greek gods and the two are forever
in an internal struggle to dominate said individual’s personality. Without striking an appropriate
balance between the two sides, truly great art can never be mastered (Keis). The readers of
Death in Venice are witnesses to the Apollonian vs. Dionysion struggle that takes place inside of
the novella’s protagonist, Gustav von Aschenbach.

Apollo is known as the Greek god of light and order. Apollonian characteristics include
reason, control, and clarity. (Taylor). These characteristics are often associated with 19th century
philosopher, Arthur Schopenhauer’s, principal of individuation in that “all types of form or
structure are Apollonian, since form serves to define or individualize that which is formed”
(Keis). Sculpture is the most Apollonian of art since it relies on form for its effect. Apollonian
characteristics are used to minimize needless suffering caused by natural desires of the body
(Kreis).

Gustav von Aschenbach is introduced to us as the protagonist of Death in Venice. As we
read, it becomes very clear that Aschenbach is a very disciplined and rational man, possessing a
majority of Apollonian characteristics: “At forty, at fifty, even at an age when others squander
and stray, content to put their great plans aside for the time...


... middle of paper ...


...nted by Tadzio, his moral
standards break down and he is a slave to beauty and desire. Because Aschenbach has never had
a balance between the Apollonian and Dionysion characteristics, he undergoes a complete
transformation from one extreme to the other. It is this transformation that ultimately leads
Aschenbach to his unfortunate death.


Works Cited

Kreis, Steven. “Nietzsche, Dionysus, and Apollo.” The History Guide. 13 May 2004. 18 March
2009. .

Mann, Thomas . Death in Venice. Trans. Clayton Koelb. New York: W.W. Norton, 1994.

Taylor, Nancy. “Apollonian Vs. Dionysian.” California State University. 18 March 2009.

.

Thro, Michael. “Apollo vs. Dionysus.” 2 Nov. 1996. 19 March 2009.
.



Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »







This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Greek Mythology in Thomas Mann's Death in Venice Essay example - Thomas Mann alludes to Greek mythology throughout his novella Death in Venice. One of the Greek mythological themes alluded to in Death in Venice is the struggle known as Apollonian vs. Dionysion. Thomas Mann was strongly influenced by the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche and his teachings on the Apollonian vs. Dionysion struggle. According to Nietzsche’s teachings every individual contains characteristics from both Greek gods and the two are forever in an internal struggle to dominate said individual’s personality....   [tags: Death in Venice 2014]
:: 4 Works Cited
1330 words
(3.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Lust Leads to Death in Mann's Death in Venice Essay - Can lust lead to your death bed. Aschenbach is known as the main character in the novel “Death in Venice.” He grew up in a rich background where he had the fame, wealth and money. Aschenbach was born the son of a career civil servant in the justice ministry, while his mother was the daughter of a music director. Aschenbach had his life planned out; he was very accurate and organized. Even in his youth, he set out a goal for himself. He envision to live an old age and to continue to produce great literature....   [tags: Death in Venice, Thomas Mann, ]
:: 1 Works Cited
1526 words
(4.4 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
The Triumph of Disaster in Thomas Mann's Death in Venice Essay - Triumph of Disaster in Death in Venice  As Death in Venice begins, Gustav von Aschenbach, the distinguished author of Munich, goes for a stroll on a May afternoon. While waiting for the train back home, he spots a man ahead of him, a man by whom he is intrigued. Defiantly, even fiercely, the angular face of the man returns Aschenbach's gaze. Aschenbach quickly turns away from the stranger, who soon disappears. Whether it was the intriguing stranger or the warm temperature, he doesn't know; nevertheless, Aschenbach is clutched by a burning desire to travel....   [tags: Essays on Death in Venice] 1950 words
(5.6 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Death In Venice Essay - Death In Venice      To have an understanding of the use of disease as a metaphor in Thomas Mann’s novella Death In Venice, it is useful to understand the concept of disease itself. According to Webster’s Dictionary, 1913 edition, disease is defined as the “lack of ease; uneasiness; trouble; vexation; disquiet.” These words do embody the struggles of the great author, and main character of the novella, Gustav Aschenbach, but it is the description of disease as “an alteration in the state of the body or of some of its organs, interrupting or disturbing the performance of the vital functions, and causing or threatening pain and weakness; malady; affection; illness; sickness; disorder; -- ap...   [tags: Thomas Mann Death Venice Metaphor Essays]
:: 2 Works Cited
2095 words
(6 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Death in Venice Essay: Love for Tadzio or Venice? - Aschenbach: In love with Tadzio, or Venice. Thomas Mann's Death in Venice presents an artist with a fascination for beauty that overpowers all of his senses. Aschenbach's attraction to Tadzio can be viewed as a symbol for his love for the city of Venice. The city, however, is also filled with corruption, and it is this corruptive element that kills him. Aschenbach first exhibits his love for Venice when he feels that he must go to "one of the gay world's playgrounds in the lovely south"(6). The south, to him, means something new and exciting....   [tags: Death in Venice Essays] 789 words
(2.3 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Venice: A Lagoon City Essay - Venice – a lagoon city. There is hardly any city characterised by such opposing attributes as Venice. Many may consider Venice to be the city of love and a senic gem on the water, novels and films usually paint a different picture. The city frequently appears morbid, mysterious and dark. During winter and autumn fog occupies the whole city. Venice is used by many authors as a backdrop to create an environment of suspense and death. Venice is an allegory of death, decay and rot. The city itself represents the literary synonym of the deterioration of the architectural wonder....   [tags: geography, death in venice]
:: 1 Works Cited
1216 words
(3.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Art as a Reflection of Life in Death in Venice - Art as a Reflection of Life in Death in Venice     Death in Venice explores the relationship between an artist, namely Gustave von Aschenbach, and the world in which he lives. Aschenbach, destined to be an artist from a young age, represents art, while his surroundings represent life. As the story unfolds, Aschenbach endeavors on a journey in an attempt to relinquish his position in society as an artist. Aschenbach wants to experience life, as opposed to merely reflecting upon it, as he has done for so many years....   [tags: Death in Venice Essays]
:: 3 Works Cited
1212 words
(3.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Relationship between Art and Life in Death in Venice - Relationship between Art and Life Explored in Death in Venice      The novella Death in Venice by Thomas Mann examines the nature of the relationship between art and life. The progression of the main character, Gustave Von Aschenbach, illustrates the concept of an Apollinian/Dionysian continuum. Apollo is the Greek god of art, thus something Apollinian places an emphasis on form. Dionysus is the Greek god of wine and chaos, hence something Dionysian emphasizes energy and emotion. In The Birth of Tragedy Friedrich Nietzsche suggests that,"......   [tags: Death Venice Essays]
:: 3 Works Cited
1399 words
(4 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Beyond the Homosexual Connection:An Analysis of Thomas Mann´s Death in Venice - Thomas Mann´s ¨Death in Venice¨ presents a provocative love story between an older man and a young boy. It captures the life of an elderly German writer named Gustave von Aschenbach who, while on vacation, in Venice falls passionately in love with a young Polish boy named Tadzio. However, Aschenbach´s love is unreciprocated and no real relationship is born. Although the romantic involvement between the characters is one sided, the novel has stilled managed to generate diverse and often controversial interpretations....   [tags: Literary Analysis ]
:: 6 Works Cited
2218 words
(6.3 pages)
Term Papers [preview]
Death in Venice: Timeless Psychoanalysis through Greek Allusions Essay - With the advent of film and the ability to produce visual representation of fictional (or non-fictional) characters, situations, and settings, one of the natural courses has been to adapt literary works to the new medium. Throughout time we have seen this occur endlessly, with subjectively varying results. Literature has been adapted to forms such as staged plays, live readings, as well as other visual forms, such as painting, sculpture, or photography, and in each adaption to a new medium, aspects of the tangible essence of the fiction are translated to fit its new form of expression....   [tags: Literature]
:: 4 Works Cited
1739 words
(5 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]