The first myth we encounter is the allusion to Charon the ferryman. In Greek mythology Charon was the son of the Gods, Nox who was the goddess of night and Erebus who was one of the gods of the underworld (Morford et al. 2013). Charon was in charge of transporting the spirits of the dead over the river sticks to the Elysian Fields, or the underworld (Morford et al. 2013). Greek tradition stated that two coins be placed on the eyes of the deceased, so that they could pay the toll across the river or “pay the ferryman” (Morford et al. 2013). In Death in Venice, Mann does not outright say that the Gondolier was Charon, but he does drop some hints, for example on page 36, Aschenbach describes the gondola as:
“…so distinctly black, black as only coffins can be-it conjures up hush-hush criminal adventures in the rippling night and, even more, death itself: the bier, the obscure obsequies, the final, silent journey.”(Mann 2004 pp. 36)
This description fits well with the myth of Charon as he was in charge of the “final journey”. ...
... middle of paper ...
...e environment, such as with Eos and Poseidon, or to foreshadow events like Aschenbach’s death, with Charon or Narcissus. Myths create an extreme situation followed by extreme repercussions for ones choices in these situations, that aim to educate or inform the reader of the “what can happen”, and what is deemed proper behaviour to avoid these horrible outcomes. In the case of Narcissus, don’t love yourself too much or you will end up killing yourself, if you love someone truly and completely, such as Semele did for Zeus you will eventually be rewarded. In conclusion, the myths placed throughout this novella guide the reader through all of Aschenbach’s deepest thoughts and feelings and eventually lead us to his final end. They demonstrate in a variety of ways the range of emotions that one can feel for a person, and the integration of old beliefs into modern works.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.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.... [tags: Death in Venice 2014]
1330 words (3.8 pages)
- 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, ]
1526 words (4.4 pages)
- 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)
- 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]
2095 words (6 pages)
- 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)
- 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]
1216 words (3.5 pages)
- 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]
1212 words (3.5 pages)
- 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]
1399 words (4 pages)
- 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 ]
2218 words (6.3 pages)
- 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]
1739 words (5 pages)