Preview
Preview

Essay on Relationship between Art and Life in Death in Venice

:: 3 Works Cited
Length: 1399 words (4 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Blue      
Open Document
Need writing help? Check your paper »



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

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,"... the continuous development of art is bound up with the Apollinian and Dionysian duality--just as procreation depends on the duality of the sexes, involving perpetual strife with only periodically intervening reconciliations.. in the Greek world there existed a tremendous opposition, in origin and aims, between the Apollinian area of sculpture, and the nonimagistic, Dionysian art of music "(33). The Greeks embodied this concept in the "clear figures of their gods" just as Thomas Mann, a great reader of Nietzsche, embodied it in his characters (33).

 

At the beginning of the novel, Gustave is depicted as an extremely, if not overly, civilized man. He is an artist, but he approaches art coldly and rigidly. It is more a job than a joy for him, and it is actually his urge to seek "flight from his rigid, cold, and passionate service" that brings him to Venice (Mann 6). Although Gustave loves this service, he is currently in a state of frustration: "To him it seemed that his work had ceased to be marked by that fiery play of fancy that is the product of joy..." (7). His beliefs can be summarized in the words "mind and art," thus missing the crucial ingredients of life and sensuality. Gu...


... middle of paper ...


... painting Figures on Rocks at the Edge of the Sea. Life is found to be problematic if lived at either extreme, a midpoint of some type must be established. A dynamic state of oscillation, the best environment for the cultivation of creativity, would have prevented Gustave's uncontrollable exhibition of previously inhibited Dionysian qualities. The ideal state for the production of art and living in general seems to be a mixture of art, mind, and life.

 

 

Works Cited

Mann, Thomas. Death in Venice and Other Stories. New York: Random House, Inc., 1989.

Nietzsche, Friedrich. The Birth of Tragedy from the Spirit of Music. 1872. In The Birth of Tragedy and The Case

      of Wagner. Trans. Walter Kaufmann. New York: Vintage Books, 1967.

Vibert, Jean-Georges. Figures on Rocks at the Edge of the Sea. Snite Museum of Art, Notre Dame, Indiana.

 


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  
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]
The art of decadence in the city of venice: Death In Venice Essay - The premise of decadence was tremendously popular in late 19th century European literature. In addition, the degeneracy of the individual and society at large was represented in numerous contemporary works by Mann. In Death in Venice, the theme of decadence caused by aestheticism appears through Gustav von Achenbach’s eccentric, specifically homoerotic, feelings towards a Polish boy named Tadzio. Although his feelings spring from a sound source, the boy’s aesthetic beauty, Aschenbach becomes decadent in how excessively zealous his feelings are, and his obsession ultimately leads to his literal and existential destruction....   [tags: Aesthetic Attraction, Obsession]
:: 3 Works Cited
2010 words
(5.7 pages)
Term Papers [preview]
Appeal to Aesthetics in Death in Venice Essay - In the late 19th century decadence was a tremendously popular theme in European literature. In addition, the degeneracy of the individual and society at large was represented in numerous contemporary works by Mann. In Death in Venice, the theme of decadence caused by aestheticism appears through Gustav von Achenbach’s eccentric, specifically homoerotic, feelings towards a Polish boy named Tadzio. Although his feelings spring from a sound source, the boy’s aesthetic beauty, Aschenbach becomes decadent in how excessively zealous his feelings are, and his obsession ultimately leads to his literal and existential destruction....   [tags: Literary Analysis ]
:: 3 Works Cited
2037 words
(5.8 pages)
Term Papers [preview]
Essay on Homosexuality in William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice - Homosexuality in William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice With every great story line comes a theme. William Shakespeare created an art of intertwining often unrecognizable themes within his plays. In Shakespeare’s play, The Merchant of Venice, one hidden theme is the idea of homosexuality. This theme might not have even been noticed until modern Shakespeare fans discovered them. According to Alan Bray’s book, Homosexuality in Renaissance England, “the modern image of ‘the homosexual’ cannot be applied to the early modern period, when homosexual behavior was viewed in terms of the sexual act and not an individual's broader identity.” (Columbia University Press)....   [tags: William Shakespeare Merchant Venice Essays]
:: 2 Works Cited
1464 words
(4.2 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]
The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice Essay - A talented poet and playwright writer, William Shakespeare came during the golden age of England. His writings are the greatest in the English language. No one really know Shakespeare real birthday. The closet date the scholars can come up is on his baptism on April 24th, 1564. It has been over 400 years since his death; Shakespeare’s writing is not just limited to English scholars, but also appears on modern historical events and newspaper as well. Playwright and poetry are an art that appeals to the conscious mind, but the best classical playwright such as Othello not only appeals to conscious mind, but also to the subconscious mind....   [tags: Shakespearean Literature ]
:: 10 Works Cited
1146 words
(3.3 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]
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]
Essay on Exploring Death in Death in Venice - Exploring Death in Death in Venice       Death in Venice by Thomas Mann, is a story that deals with mortality on many different levels. There is the obvious physical death by cholera, and the cyclical death in nature: in the beginning it is spring and in the end, autumn. We see a kind of death of the ego in Gustav Aschenbach's dreams. Venice itself is a personification of death, and death is seen as the leitmotif in musical terms. It is also reflected in the idea of the traveler coming to the end of a long fatiguing journey....   [tags: Death in Venice Essays]
:: 3 Works Cited
1504 words
(4.3 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Symbols and Symbolism in Death in Venice Essay - Subtle Symbolism in Death in Venice   The dominant theme in Death in Venice is, obviously, death. This theme is exploited through the use of irony, imagery, and symbolism. The theme is most effectively explored by means of symbolism. Mann's symbolism is not as straight-forward as most authors, however, and the reader is forced to dig deep in order to determine the true meaning of any given passage. This pseudo-hidden symbolism forces the reader to be acutely aware of its presence from page one, or else the point may be missed altogether....   [tags: Death Venice Essays]
:: 2 Works Cited
844 words
(2.4 pages)
Better Essays [preview]